New Jersey becomes 10th US state to recognize Artsakh

ANC of New Jersey led grassroots effort to secure commemoration of Armenian Genocide, condemnation of attacks on Armenians in Armenia and Artsakh, and recognition of Artsakh

TRENTON, NJ — New Jersey officially became the 10th U.S. state to recognize Artsakh, reported the Armenian National Committee of America Eastern Region (ANCA-ER). ANC of New Jersey led a grassroots advocacy effort to secure recognition alongside New Jersey State Senator Joseph Lagana who first introduced the legislation, SCR.71, in the New Jersey State Senate in 2020 and reintroduced it in the 2021 session with the support of New Jersey State Senators Vin Gopal, Holly Schepisi and Nicholas Scutari.

SCR.71 officially recognizes the Republic of Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh), condemns Turkey and Azerbaijan for their aggression against the peaceful populations of Artsakh and Armenia and reaffirms the state’s commitment to recognizing the Armenian Genocide. The resolution passed through the New Jersey State Senate Judiciary Committee and was referred to the Senate floor for a vote on June 30, 2021, where it passed overwhelmingly.

ANCA National Board Member and ANCA Eastern Region Board Chair Ani Tchaghlasian, a New Jersey resident and ANC of New Jersey activist, along with Joe Ariyan, ANC of New Jersey member, testified in front of the New Jersey State Senate Judiciary Committee underscoring the importance of Artsakh’s self-determination on June 30 and were in chambers when it passed.

“Over 100 years after the genocide began in 1915, the Armenian community still grapples with the effects of the horrific acts of violence committed by the Ottoman Empire. Millions of Armenians faced displacement, starvation, persecution and death,” said Senator Lagana (D-Bergen/Passaic). “Today, we stand by our Armenian-American neighbors by calling those events what they were: a genocide. By acknowledging this truth, and by condemning human rights violations happening today, we make it clear that this tragic history cannot be allowed to repeat itself.”

New Jersey is home to more than 50,000 Armenian Americans. The resolution comes on the heels of recognition of Artsakh in several of the Garden State’s cities including the Borough of Fort Lee, Englewood Cliffs, Cliffside Park and Ridgefield, New Jersey. New Jersey is the tenth state to recognize Artsakh. Other states include Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maine, Louisiana, California, Georgia, Hawaii, Michigan and Colorado.
“We cannot thank State Senator Lagana enough for his steadfast commitment, and for introducing SCR.71. Senator Lagana has been a friend of our community since he was first elected to the state assembly years ago – he is a champion of doing what is right for people everywhere and we truly appreciate it,” said Joe Ariyan, ANC of New Jersey activist. “Alongside his colleagues Senators Gopal, Schepisi and Scutari, Senator Lagana’s Resolution provides us with the fuel we need to continue to advocate on behalf of the Armenian Nation,” said Ariyan.

“As a descendant of Armenian Genocide survivors and a resident of New Jersey, I am so proud to be represented by elected officials who prioritize human rights and a just resolution to the unjust atrocities committed against my ancestors,” said Karine Shnorhokian. “This resolution is another step in the direction of securing the safety and security of the Armenians in Artsakh and Armenia, who even today, are currently facing threats from neighboring Azerbaijan and Turkey,” said Shnorhokian.


A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION recognizing the Armenian Genocide and condemning attacks against civilians in the Republic of Artsakh.

WHEREAS, On April 24, 1915, Ottoman Empire authorities arrested, and later executed, more than 200 Armenian community leaders and intellectuals in the capital of Constantinople, now known as Istanbul; and

WHEREAS, This atrocity marked the escalation of systemic persecution and violence against the Armenian people by the government of the Ottoman Empire that continued through 1923; and

WHEREAS, During this period, Armenians were subject to deportation, expropriation, abduction, torture, massacre, and starvation, planned and orchestrated by the government of the Ottoman Empire; and

WHEREAS, In all, approximately 1.5 million Armenians had perished and hundreds of thousands more had become homeless, stateless refugees at the hands of the Ottoman Empire; and

WHEREAS, These horrific events constitute what is widely recognized today by numerous scholars, governments, and international organizations as the Armenian Genocide; and

WHEREAS, In 2019, the United States Congress expressed that it is the policy of the United States to recognize the Armenian Genocide through official recognition and remembrance; and

WHEREAS, On April 24, 2021, recognized as “Armenian Genocide Memorial Day” in Armenia and the Republic of Artsakh, President Biden officially declared that the United States considers the events “genocide” in a statement; and

WHEREAS, Notwithstanding the historical evidence to the contrary and international recognition, some, including the government of the Republic of Turkey, deny that the Armenian Genocide ever happened; and

WHEREAS, Turkey has continued its campaign of aggression against the Armenian population of the Republic of Artsakh, a democracy and integral part of the Armenian homeland for thousands of years; and

WHEREAS, The Republic of Artsakh, having legally declared its independence from Azerbaijan and resisted years of aggression, consistently holds parliamentary and presidential elections that have been rated as free and fair by international observers; and

WHEREAS, Azerbaijan, with the support of Turkey, illegally targeted civilian homes and infrastructure, cultural sites, and religious sites;

WHEREAS, Azerbaijan has already destroyed and continues to destroy Armenian churches and cultural sites in the territories they have illegally occupied since the end of the hostilities in 2020; and

WHEREAS, Turkey has continued its military support to Azerbaijan in its full-scale attack against Artsakh, including from September 27 to November 9, 2020 in an attempt to remove the indigenous Armenian population of Artsakh from its homeland; and

WHEREAS, The danger of denying these events was manifested when Adolf Hitler ordered his military commanders to attack Poland without provocation in 1939 by saying “Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?,” setting the stage for the Holocaust; and

WHEREAS, It is altogether fitting and proper to remember, with the Armenian communities throughout New Jersey, the United States, and the world, and with Armenia and the Republic of Artsakh, these tragic events and to condemn any actors that attempt such atrocities again; now, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the State of New Jersey (the General Assembly concurring):

  1. The New Jersey Legislature recognizes the Armenian Genocide and acknowledges the criminal mistreatment of Armenians by the government of the Ottoman Empire as an issue of international and historic significance.
  2. The New Jersey Legislature condemns attacks by Azerbaijan against the civilians in the Artsakh Republic, recognizes the Republic of Artsakh’s right to self-determination and independence, and respectfully urges the President of the United States and the United States Congress to do the same.
  3. The New Jersey Legislature respectfully urges the United States Senate to pass Senate Resolution No. 754 and Senate Resolution No. 755, introduced by Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey, to ensure that the United States is not providing support to the actors committing violations of international law and human rights against the people of the Republic of Artsakh.
  4. The New Jersey Legislature expresses that it is the policy of New Jersey to:
    (1) commemorate the Armenian Genocide and acknowledge the crimes against Armenians by the government of the Ottoman Empire as an issue of international and historic significance;
    (2) reject efforts to enlist, engage, or otherwise associate the State of New Jersey with denial of the Armenian Genocide or any other genocide; and
    (3) encourage education and public understanding of the facts of the Armenian Genocide, including the role of the United States in humanitarian relief efforts, and the relevance of the Armenian Genocide to modern-day crimes against humanity from the 2020 war on the Republic of Artsakh.
ANCA-Eastern Region
The Armenian National Committee of America Eastern Region is part of the largest and most influential Armenian American grassroots organization, the ANCA. Working in coordination with the ANCA in Washington, DC, and a network of chapters and supporters throughout the Eastern United States, the ANCA-ER actively advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues.


  1. Dear Apparatchiks from Armenia,

    Can you tell me how many states/regions/republics in “Mother Russia” have recognized Artsakh’s right to exist on its own territories, since “Mother Russia is Armenia’s best friend and the greatest thing to happen since the invention of “tolma””????

    Asking for a friend.

    • Well, the reality is, Moscow has officially recognized Armenian self determination in Artsakh for over 25 years. However, Moscow and the rest of the world, including the US, never recognized Armenian claims over the 7 regions around the internationally recognized borders of Artsakh. When Nikol’s incompetency and treason incited the war with Azerbaijan last autumn, it was Russians that eventually intervened to stop yet another genocide of Armenians. Ultimately, Russian troops are inside Azerbaijan today because they recognize the Armenian population’s right to exist on their ancestral lands. That recognition is also why Russia has not disbanded the Artsakh military and is spending hundreds of tens of millions of dollars to rebuild the territory’s infrastructure. Now, please tell us what did your Uncle Sam do for Artsakh or for Armenia during the war? That’s right, nothing…

    • But Russia gives 80’s weapons to Armenia on a discount! Yeah that’s all I got man. I tried… 6 million Russians visited Turkey in 2019. 15,000 Russians land in Antalya daily right now even with Covid-19 (according to Turkish news). That is a lot of revenue. We shot down a Russian jet, Putin stopped buying tomatoes. Putin cares about interests not friends. There comes a point in time where one has to draw a line between looking out for their own countries interets and sticking up for a friend. Also if Putin thinks he can lure Turkey into ditching the west for Russia/China he has lost his mind. We might play games but at the end of the day we are tied to the western bloc for the forseable future. Erdogan uses Putin for western interests not the other way around. The S-400 has probably been examined by US technicians already. But Erdogan promised not to… LOL. I am not stoking tensions between Armenians. An intelligent person would listen to all the pros/cons of a relationship and then make an informed decision. Please leave your but ‘Mother Russia’ makes me feel all warm and safe inside feelings out the door. We are adults not children.

    • At concern Armenian, No they don’t. Show me one document, one negotiation in 25 years where Russia recognized Armenia’s right to self determination in Artsakh. there isn’t any. All negotiations started with the imposed Madrid principals, basically a return of ancient Armenian lands gifted to the gas station Turkish run, Zionist banking funded, made up, garbage state called Azerbaijan, for some future imaginary referendum. Who would agree to that? That’s why it was a stalemate forever. Ironically Armenia never recognized Artsakhs independence either. Yes it was Soviet Russia that gave away those lands in the first place but when the Soviet Union ended so should its arbitrary made borders, yet those somehow became “permanent”.. Russia never makes mention of their own history and these truths were never brought up in any negotiation. Why is that? Russia would rather have hegemony over a needy Armenia. Russia was all to gleeful for Armenians to lose the war and their lands. While Turkey was directly involved, Russia did NOTHING. Their only real interest in Armenia is that it doesn’t want its underbelly completely surrounded by Turks. And that’s about all. I do agree that the current PM is a useless incompetent traitor. Not because he shunned Russia but because hes totally unqualified for anything and needs to be rid at all cost. Competent leaders who promote unification, one Armenia Artsakh and diaspora, is our only answer. It always has been.

    • Americans are masters at political theatre. “Recognizing” Artsakh at the state level is an absolutely useless thing yet some Armenians get so excited over it. Zartir Lao is one such person. Armenian-Americans have to understand that the condescending and arrogant way in which they look down on other Armenians is incredibly annoying.

    • @Turkish,

      Stop with the silly disinformation. 80-90 percent of weapons systems in the Russian, United States and Turkish militaries are from the 1980s and earlier. In fact, Turkey still fields American tanks designed in the 1960s and flies aircraft designed in the 1970s. Armenia’s military is pretty well armed and capable. It even has anti-drone capabilities. The problem was that Armenia’s armed forces were not used in defense of Karabakh. Karabakh fell because of politics not because of the bashibozuk military of Azerbaijan.

    • Joe, they can’t show any documentation on their fairy tale claims because they are just like Azeris who talk about “ancient Azerbaijan”, all talk, no proof. After all, they all grew up under the same Soviet system of “edumacation”.

    • Concerned Armenian,
      Not sure if your trolling or not but I will bite…
      What has a machines design/first manufacture date have to do with anything in terms of modern warfare? F-16s design date is irrevelant, it has been brought up to current specs everytime. Turkey fields F-16 Block 50+. The tank your talking about is an M60T. Only the chasis is M60… It did better (no losses) against ISIS vs. Leopard2s with no reactive armor.

      Case in point I am talking about the weapons current capabilities. Russians provide you with stock 60-80s systems. They give them to Armenia because they are not needed (not cost effective to upgrade, got newer systems, etc).

      USAF’s most advanced fighter is 1980s design. F-15 is even older. Yet both especially the F-15 is a suberb fighter.

      Armenia could of used air defenses that were capable of detecting UAVs. Instead you had OSA’s hardwired to look for jet fighters.

      Further point, stop buying stuff just because it is cheap and makes Russia happy. Buy less quality weapons instead, better suited to your needs not whatever junk.

      Don’t be going to Wikipedia (Wikipedia is not reliable) now and talk about Turkey’s M60A3s. They are used as artillery platforms. Rest are all retired. Leopard1T’s are waiting Altay tank to retire.

      Armenia knew about Azeri UAVs back in 2016 and did nothing. They instead brought artillery shells from some eastern European country at a discount which didn’t function as intended (years of corrosion).

      If Armenia is so well armed maybe it should attack Azeri’s and get the land back…
      Also keep hiding when people here ask why Russians gave away so much Armenian land in the past. Russians in their millions visit Turkey not Armenia. Otto-Russian wars were the past. They are Turkish friends now, not yours.

  2. This all happens because of the diaspora’s hard work, yet the leaders of Armenia continuously ignore and refuse to include on a constant basis. Its amazing that Armenia doesn’t understand that all of its foreign relations, that it wants so desperately improve, are in direct proportion to the Armenians that live and thrive in those foreign counties. How does one fix this kind of ignorance?

    • At Gurgen, The leaders of Armenia don’t mean anything to any one politically either. That is because we aren’t unified enough for it to mean something. You know, divide ourselves and be conquered. Armenia proper would rather cry directly to an indifferent third country to save its sorry existence, who in reality can care less about Armenia, while they totally ignore its only real strength and trusted partner in a 10 million strong diaspora.

    • Where is Uncle Sam, Joe? You and Zartir Lao are always bashing everybody else for not selling out to NATO yet what have they done for Greece and potential member Georgia? Absolutely nothing. Armenian-Americans need to stop presenting themselves as more enlightened than everybody else.

  3. This is a wonderful and patriotic gesture by Armenian Americans, and reflects their diligence and hard work. But does it have teeth? Individual states can make such resolutions but is there any impact on American Federal government? THAT is what is needed. American foreign policy, that is, the State Department MUST act on this and such other issues that affect the lives and well-being of Armenians, the independent Autonomous Republic. I hear a lot of complaints about the current administration in Yerevan, but when will we have an Armenina American Ambassador to Armenia? Other countries have hyphenated Americans as Ambassadors, SO SHOULD WE!

  4. Joe:

    I am now retired after 15+ years of service to the US office of the American University of Armenia with three visits to Yerevan, where my brother-in-law was born. I have seen with my own eyes and ears the profound cultural and intellectual transformation that has taken place and continues to take place, and the retreat of ignorance and indoctrinated thinking.

    • at Richard, We just lost a major war and 5k kids and ancient Armenian lands mostly because of pure incompetence of the current traitor. Azerbaijan is encroaching on Syunik as we speak and the impotent PM is sooo out of his league its almost purposefully obtusely orchestrated. If this is improvement just WOW!

  5. The world’s oceans are made up of little droplets of water, where every drop is equally important in making up the mighty ocean. It has taken many years and countless bits of effort to get our genocide recognised and the recognition of an independent Artsakh will need similar effort and political will to accomplish. We will need the help of our friends and allies in the political world and also the endless effort of our diaspora to acheive this historical and just cause. We also must bear in mind the resulting consequence of this action. Artsakh and mainland Armenia will come under a similar attack from a united hoard of our enemies who will stop at nothing to achieve their criminal aims. We need to be fully prepared for this event in terms of superior weapons and also backing from our ally Russia.

  6. Joe: The improvement that I refer to is a deeper social and cultural transformation….not just a change of figurehead. The losses that you describe are truly painful, yet I do not see Pashinyan as solely responsible. Nor do I think that he should be the scapegoat. It is disappointing that so few had any sense of what was going to be unleashed, and were unable to take steps to prevent or counter a very sophisticated high tech. attack by a combination of opponents.

  7. ““Recognizing” Artsakh at the state level is an absolutely useless thing”

    Nonsense. Recognizing the Armenian Genocide at the State level was also once a “useless” thing, yet after nearly all of them did, the Federal Government promptly followed, in that direction at least, although, I will concede, it was more about politics than “Human Rights”. Nevertheless, each step taken makes the mission that much closer.

    For the “Mother Russia” cheerleaders here, I would be more concerned about why The USA is doing more for Artsakh despite having no real security interest there, and even having Turkey in NATO, than Russia – Armenia’s so-called “ally” – HAS EVER DONE IN THE PAST 30 YEARS!

    Oh wait let me modify that actually. Russia has actually ACTIVELY HELPED DESTROY ARTSAKH WITH AZERBAIJAN AND TURKEY: 1. Not letting Artsakh define peace terms when they were winning, and 2. Arming Azerbaijan for decades to get them ready for the destruction of Artsakh (when they clearly knew Azerbaijan has oil revenue and Armenia has nothing). No self-respecting Armenian can deny these facts.

    After 30 years of preaching to Armenians how they cannot solve anything by force, (while continuously arming Azerbaijan), suddenly Russia acted like it did not know what was going on when Turkey started sending military equipment and TERRORISTS along Russia’s southern border. And next did not utter a word of outrage when a full scale invasion was launched and illegal weapons used to murder Armenians. Had Armenians done the invading, no doubt “Mother Russia” would have gone bananas and joined in a military campaign with Azerbaijan against Artsakh.

    Had Russia been true to its word and its own integrity, it could have easily stopped any Turkish intervention with just one phrase: “any aggression on Artsakh outside the frame of negotiations will immediately result in our recognition of Artsakh as a free and sovereign nation”. Instead what we got was the opposite, Russia and Turkey made agreements together to swindle Artsakh from Armenians.

  8. “Where is Uncle Sam, Joe? You and Zartir Lao are always bashing everybody else for not selling out to NATO yet what have they done for Greece and potential member Georgia?”

    In the case of Greeks, there are some nationalists in Greece who think that NATO is a “hindrance”, yet they do not realize that if they ever left NATO and joined, Heaven forbid, an asinine poverty spreading power like “Mother Russia”, they will soon see Turkey take over all their Greek islands, from the same playbook of a Russian “alliance” with Syria and Armenia. In fact Greece being in NATO was quite a visionary move on the part of Greeks, since that is the best guarantee of its security against another rogue NATO nation with sigghts over its territories. In case NATO member Turkey ever attacks NATO member Greece, it will be an interesting scenario. NATO will they be forced to pick one of the two, and my guess is, Turkey will be kicked out into Putin’s lap where it belongs.

    The entirety of Armenians in my view must get together and present this same idea to “Mother Russia”. If Armenia will be without Artsakh, joining NATO in the future is the only viable option left for Armenia. We owe the vile, repulsive, backstabbing Russian government that much.

    As for Georgia, the USA knew it was a long shot being right next to Russia, but imagine this. Despite losing two territories, Georgia is probably way better off aligned to the USA and Europe now than if it had joined Russia’s poverty club of destitute former Soviet satellite states. In fact, as history has shown, no nation that was ever aligned with Russia in the past century ever got any benefit, and in every case lived in poverty and misery. the nation that knows that the most is Poland, while Cuba is still destitute and backwards with its Soviet ideology, yet ironically, would probably starve out of existence if not for the USA. Same thing with all the Arab states which relied on Russia. Egypt starved and lost wars under the hands of Russia, yet now is way better off with a much higher standard of living having aligned itself with the USA.

    Syria is also another case study, all the Soviet junk weapons were offloaded on Syria in the past 50 years, and Syria never recovered from that. even now with a Russian “alliance” Syria is occupied by, who else, Russia’s “partner” Turkey, and Russia’s “enemy” the USA. Now Armenia suffered the same fate with that magical Russian “alliance”.

    It is no longer a theory, just established historical fact…

    “Russia alliance” = poverty and misery.

    “USA alliance” = prosperity and progress.

    • Concerned Armenian will be right with you to talk about the Alpha and the Omega known better to him as Russia.

      You forgot Libya by the way. Erdogan ain’t leaving there either. Also I can confirm Greece is saved by the EU. Erdogan the Conquerer would be island hoping right now. The economy being bad just makes him more dangerous. That said Greece is in the wrong. So we support him there. Greece needs to sign a new treaty with us..

      Caliph Erdogan is picking on India these days as well. I could care less about Kashmir though just like most Turks. Nothing to do with us. That one is just an Erdogan thing. India is an ally of Russia as well. Majority of it’s gear is Russian. Imagine Erdogan invading India via Afghanistan and Putin actually doing something about it… He will trade us S-500 for new Ottoman soap operas.

    • Why is Greece wrong? They do what every sane nation does to secure their territories and natural resources, unlike Armenia under the “council” of Russia. Turkey has been extremely lucky or extremely smart in the past century as well. The Turks always like to play external powers in order to extract the maximum benefit. Armenia for the past century threw all its eggs into the Russian basket, only to find out Russia breaks those eggs to serve the Turks breakfast. And Armenians still don’t get it.

      Also, the USA has already placed Turkey on the watch list of “unreliable NATO members”, so perhaps Erdogan sees this and and quickly trying to see what alternatives there are with Russia as a “plan b”. That’s why I see Armenia’s future with the USA, not Russia. Armenia can’t get in NATO now, probably Turkey will use its power to prevent it, but still, Armenia needs its own “plan b” with the USA. Even without NATO, Armenia can have security agreements with the USA, if for no other reason than to properly address the treachery of Russia.

  9. Zatir Lao, have a look at how close the island of Kastellorizo is to Turkey on Google maps. Greeks with their hundreds of rock islands claim the Aegean sea and parts of the Med. It’s just non sense. Because of Greece we can’t sign UN’s law of the sea treaty and ‘nullify’ the Montreux Convention so we have to build stupid Istanbul canal instead to bypass the straits which would allow us to start collecting tolls.

    Turkey would welcome you into NATO with open arms. It further destroys Russian influence in the region. Georgia is next hopefully then you can join, now that your not in a war anymore (a nation in war can’t join NATO). Maybe this was Pashinyan’s plan all along… Link up trade route with Europe, build Azeri pipeline, join NATO. Next 10 years will be interesting.

    Putin might annex Gyumri to ‘protect Russians’. Least you won’t have to worry about some drunk Russian going into a nearby village and bayoneting toddlers. Concerned Armenian made excuses for Russians then to didn’t he?… He was provoked!

  10. Turkish and Zartir make a wonderful couple, as there is very little if any differences in their political outlook. Russian-Armenian alliance will prevail nevertheless…

    • ‘Turkish’ has his own Turk perspective which isn’t always based on rationality, or for that matter validity, but imagine a Turk being more rational than one who claims over and over “Russia created Armenia” without once providing a shred of proof… and then going on an on about how an advanced third-world s**thole like Russia is the “alpha and the omega”.

      And imagine being confused between the terms “alliance” and “subjugation”. If there ever was a so-called “alliance”, a belligerent, fraudulent nation like “Azerbaijan” would not have existed until now, or for that matter destroyed Armenian lives and the hard work of Armenians for the past 30 years with the help of your precious “Mother Russia” its make-believe “alliance”.

      Pitiful. But that describes perfectly everything that comes out of Armenia.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.