AUGUSTA, Maine (A.W.)—The Maine House of Representatives and Senate this morning passed a joint resolution recognizing the independence of the Nagorno Karabagh Republic (NKR) and calling on President Obama and Congress “to support the self-determination and democratic independence” of NKR.
The resolution further urges the president and Congress to support the NKR’s “constructive involvement with the international community’s efforts to reach a just and lasting solution to security issues in that strategically important region.”
The resolution was introduced by Rep. Scott Hamann (South Portland) and co-sponsored by Rep. Andrew M. Gattine (Westbrook) and Sara Gideon (Freeport).
Rep. Hamann worked closely with the ANCA of Maine and key community leaders, chief among them Anna Astvatsaturian Turcotte, a Baku pogroms survivor, lawyer, and noted author of the book Nowhere: A Story of Exile.
“I am so proud of my state, the state of Maine, for supporting the right of the free Armenian people of Nagorno-Karabagh to freedom, democracy, and independence through self-determination. I hope other states follow their sister states Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Maine and do the right thing,” Astvatsaturian Turcotte said.
“We are gratified to see America’s fundamental commitment to freedom reaffirmed today in Maine’s principled stand for the independence of the Republic of Nagorno Karabagh,” said Michelle Hagopian, the ANCA Eastern Region’s executive director. “The citizens of Maine, like all Americans, cherish liberty, as an inalienable right, not just for ourselves but for all peoples. We thank Anna and all our local activists, and look forward to working with all our community and coalition partners to grow American support for Artsakh’s independence in cities and states across our great nation.”
“We are grateful to the legislature of the state of Maine for promoting global freedom and democracy by supporting Artsakh’s independence,” Robert Avetisyan, NKR representative in the U.S., told the Armenian Weekly. “The adoption of this resolution reiterates that Artsakh’s aspiration for freedom will eventually be recognized by the broader international community.”
Avetisyan expressed hope that this process will continue and the number of supporters of Artsakh’s freedom in the U.S. and beyond will grow.
Maine is the third state to pass such a resolution. On May 17, 2012, the Rhode Island House passed a resolution calling on the U.S. president and Congress to recognize the independence of NKR. On Aug. 6, 2012, the House of Representatives of the state of Massachusetts adopted a similar resolution.