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Congresswoman Gabbard: ‘We Must Allow for the People of Nagorno-Karabagh to Exercise Their Freedom and Independence’

Gabbard Also Calls for U.S. Recognition of the Armenian Genocide

WASHINGTON—Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D- Hawaii) last week traveled to Armenia on an official, bipartisan diplomatic trip as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs and Armed Services Committees, and as a member of the Congressional Armenian Caucus.

House Foreign Affairs Committee Members Rep Tulsi Gabbard (center) with Artsakh Parliamentarian Lernik Hovhannisyan (L) and ANCA Chairman Raffi Hamparian (R) at the Republic of Artsakh National Assembly

In Armenia, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard met with President Serge Sarkisian, Prime Minister Karapetyan, other members of government, representatives from Armenia’s National Assembly, Americans of Armenian ancestry, and a wide range of business, academic, and community leaders. With them, the congresswoman discuss areas of mutual interest to strengthen regional and national security efforts, enhance humanitarian assistance for refugees, build economic opportunities, learn about the ongoing conflict and struggle of the people of Nagorno-Karabagh, and pay tribute to the victims of the Armenian Genocide.

A scene from the meeting with the president of Armenia to hear firsthand about the challenges and opportunities of Armenia, and to identify areas of mutual interest and cooperation between Armenia and the United States (Photo: gabbard.house.gov)

Last year, Hawaii’s State Legislature passed a resolution recognizing the independence of Nagorno-Karabagh and, previously, along with 46 other states, passed legislation formally recognizing the Armenian Genocide and honoring its victims.

Members of the congressional delegation met with the President of Artsakh Republic Bako Sahakyan to discuss a diplomatic, peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabagh conflict (Photo: gabbard.house.gov)

Below is a personal statement by Congresswoman Gabbard as published on her congressional website.

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I traveled to Armenia and Nagorno-Karabagh with a bipartisan group of congressional colleagues to hear and see firsthand the challenges and opportunities that exist within Armenia and the region, and identify areas of mutual interest and cooperation that will strengthen the security, economic, and cultural relationships that bind our two countries. Focusing on the priorities of a peaceful, sustainable, and secure region remains the key to deepening the American-Armenian relationship.

Members of the congressional delegation met with Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians in the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, His Holiness Karekin II, to discuss the diplomatic resolution of the Nagorno-Karabagh region (Photo: gabbard.house.gov)

The resilience and courage I witnessed in the people of the Nagorno-Karabagh region who remain in an ongoing conflict over their independence, further demonstrates our shared values of freedom, democracy, and self determination. We must support a diplomatic resolution to this ongoing conflict, such as what has been proposed by the Minsk Group (made up of the United States, France, and Russia), to allow for the people of  Nagorno-Karabagh to exercise their freedom and independence.

Members of the bipartisan congressional delegation met with Speaker of the National Assembly of Armenia Ara Babloyan and other heads of standing committees to further cooperation and understanding between the governments of Armenia and the United States (Photo: gabbard.house.gov)

One major issue that continues to be unresolved, is global recognition and condemnation of the Armenian Genocide. It is unconscionable that the United States government still has not formally recognized and condemned the Armenian genocide.  I stand with Armenians in America and around the world in condemning the Armenian Genocide, and I call on my colleagues to adopt House Resolution 220 so we never forget, or repeat, the suffering endured by the Armenian people.

A visit to a vocational school in Shushi that provides professional vocational training to over 450 students every year (Photo: gabbard.house.gov)

While there is much progress to be made within Armenia, the resilience of the Armenian people, their rich culture, values, and the depth of economic and academic investment I witnessed during my trip leaves me hopeful for the future of Armenia and the region.

1 Comment on Congresswoman Gabbard: ‘We Must Allow for the People of Nagorno-Karabagh to Exercise Their Freedom and Independence’

  1. Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard has a deep understanding of foreign affairs be it the Artsakh issue,Syria,Russia,unlike other politicians who only know Russian and Syrian bashing with MSM fake news helping them at all times where the reality and the truth is lost deliberately to the American people.

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