The resolution, introduced and spearheaded by Sen. Edwin Murray, states that the “Senate of the Legislature of Louisiana hereby encourages and supports the Nagorno Karabagh Republic’s continuing efforts to develop as a free and independent nation in order to guarantee its citizens those rights inherent in a free and independent society.”
The resolution goes on to call on the president and Congress to “support the self-determination and democratic independence of the Nagorno Karabagh Republic and its constructive involvement with the international community’s efforts to reach a just and lasting solution to security issues in that strategically important region.” The complete text of the resolution is provided below.
Vazken Kaltakdjian, the Louisiana chairman of the Armenian Council of America, worked closely with State legislators and the broader Louisiana Armenian-American community in moving this issue forward.
“We are grateful to the Louisiana State Senate for supporting Artsakh’s [Karabagh] freedom and sovereignty,” said Robert Avetisyan, the Nagorno Karabagh Republic’s Representative in the U.S. “The adoption of this resolution reaffirms Louisiana’s commitment to the fundamental values of democracy and freedom–cornerstones of Karabagh’s independence. We are grateful to Senator Murray, and everyone who endorsed and voted for the resolution. This support is very important as the Nagorno Karabagh Republic continues to develop based on our shared values of human rights and liberty.”
ANCA-ER Executive Director Michelle Hagopian welcomed the initiative, stating, “We join with Armenians in Louisiana and across America in thanking Senator Edwin Murray and the State Senate for standing up for the inalienable right to freedom of the people of the Nagorno Karabagh Republic.”
Louisiana is the U.S. fourth state in the past two years that has recognized the Nagorno Karabagh Republic’s independence, along with Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Maine.
SENATE RESOLUTION NO. 151
BY SENATOR MURRAY
To express support for the Nagorno Karabakh Republic’s efforts to develop as a free and independent nation.
WHEREAS, Nagorno Karabakh, also known as Artsakh, has historically been Armenian territory, populated by an overwhelming majority of Armenians, which was illegally severed from Armenia by the Soviet Union in 1921 and placed under the newly created Soviet Azerbaijani administration; and
WHEREAS, February 20, 1988, marked the beginning of the national liberation movement in Nagorno Karabakh, which inspired people throughout the Soviet Union to stand up against tyranny and for their rights and freedoms, helping to bring democracy to millions and contributing to world peace; and
WHEREAS, the United States Congress has repeatedly expressed support for the legitimate freedom aspirations of the people of Nagorno Karabakh; and
WHEREAS, on September 2, 1991, the legislature of Nagorno Karabakh declared formation of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic, in accordance with then acting legislation; and
WHEREAS, on December 10, 1991, the people of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic voted in favor of the independence, and on January 6, 1992, the democratically elected legislature of the Republic formally declared independence; and
WHEREAS, since proclaiming independence, the Nagorno Karabakh Republic has registered significant progress in democracy building, which has been most recently demonstrated during the July 19, 2012, presidential elections that were assessed by international observers as free and transparent.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Senate of the Legislature of Louisiana hereby encourages and supports the Nagorno Karabakh Republic’s continuing efforts to develop as a free and independent nation in order to guarantee its citizens those rights inherent in a free and independent society.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the president and Congress of the United States of America are hereby urged to support the self-determination and democratic independence of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic and its constructive involvement with the international community’s efforts to reach a just and lasting solution to security issues in that strategically important region.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a copy of this Resolution be transmitted to the president of the United States, the secretary of the United States Senate, the clerk of the United States House of Representatives, and to each member of the Louisiana delegation to the United States Congress.