WASHINGTON — On Tuesday Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues Co-Chairs Representatives Frank Pallone, Jr., (D-NJ), Robert Dold (R-IL), Jackie Speier (D-CA), and David Valadao (R-CA) with Armenian Caucus Vice Co-Chairs Adam Schiff (D-CA) and David Trott (R-MI) congratulated President Bako Sahakyan and the people of Artsakh on their Independence Day, the Armenian Assembly of America reported.
“On behalf of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues, we are writing to congratulate you and the people of the Nagorno Karabagh Republic, Arstakh, as you celebrate the 25th anniversary of your independence on September 2. This historic day represents an important milestone in Artsakh’s struggle to defend its right to self-determination and liberty,” they stated.
The letter also highlighted Nagorno Karabagh’s commitment to “advance democratic governance and rule of law,” despite continued threats and violence emanating from Azerbaijan.
“We also condemn Azerbaijan’s most recent aggression in early April against the people of Artsakh that led to hundreds of military and civilian casualties. We remain hopeful that a peaceful resolution to the Karabagh conflict will be found, and appreciate your unwavering pursuit of regional security and stability,” Pallone, Dold, Speier, Valadao, Schiff, and Trott wrote to the president of Artsakh. “We will continue our support of the Nagorno Karabagh Republic and call for the formal recognition of Artsakh’s independence.”
Assembly Executive Director Bryan Ardouny commended the Armenian Caucus stating, “We applaud the Armenian Caucus leadership for its steadfast support and ongoing commitment to Nagorno Karabakh’s democracy and security.”
Artsakh Thanks Assembly
On September 2, 1991, the legislature of the Nagorno Karabakh autonomous region and adjacent Shahumyan district declared the formation of the NKR, reversing Joseph Stalin’s arbitrary 1921 decision to include the ancient Armenian province of Artsakh under then newly-created Soviet Azerbaijan.
“On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the independence of the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh, the Armenian Assembly of America extends our heartfelt congratulations to all the people of Artsakh,” Assembly Board of Trustees Co-Chairs Anthony Barsamian and Van Krikorian and Assembly President Carolyn Mugar stated in a letter to Sahakyan. “The recent atrocities and attacks led by Azerbaijani President Aliyev and others in clear violation of international agreements and every standard of good conscience are constant reminders of the risks we face. The Armenian Assembly continues advocating for your freedom and security. There can be no lasting solution unless your government participates in the Minsk Group negotiations and people in Artsakh democratically approve any negotiated solution. If, as recently announced, in fact, the Minsk Group co-chair countries of France, Russia, and the United States guarantee your security as part of a peace agreement you approve, we will support it and work to ensure its success. Considering the threats, however, we understand that you will need more than that to deal with the risks.”
Since gaining independence in 1991, the NKR has defended its freedom on the battlefield and developed a stable democracy with a viable civil society and developing market economy. Artsakh continues to adhere to the universal values of human rights and civil liberties as a sovereign democracy and reliable member of the international community, despite ongoing threats of renewed aggression from Azerbaijan.
“In modern Armenian life, Nagorno-Karabagh has embodied both the hardships and victories that we consider the best characteristics of the Armenian nation and which truly create family bonds. The courage, character, honesty, democracy, resilience, good will, faith, and respect that people in Artsakh have shown since the independence movement began have been inspirational and it has been our privilege to support your right to determine your own future from the beginning,” Barsamian, Krikorian, and Mugar told the president of Artsakh.
Since 1997, the Assembly has hosted in Washington, DC the Office of the Nagorno Karabagh Republic in the United States. The Assembly will continue its efforts to assist the flourishing Republic and it democratic governance.
Acknowledging the Assembly’s efforts, Sahakyan awarded the Assembly with Artsakh’s Medal of Gratitude for its “significant contribution in restoring and developing economy, science, culture, social spheres of the NKR as well as for defending and promoting international recognition of the Republic.”
“It was such an honor to accept Artsakh’s Medal of Gratitude on behalf of the Armenian Assembly, and an even greater honor to be here alongside such distinguished individuals. I am grateful to be among soldiers and the members of the Armed Forces who unified Armenians around the world and truly care for Artsakh,” Assembly Regional Director Arpi Vartanian said. “Congratulations to the Republic of Nagorno Karabagh on 25 years of successful nation-building and your strong commitment to democracy. The Assembly will continue to stand with and support Artsakh in the years to come.”