AYF Petition Drive Gains Momentum Interest

LOS ANGELES–In an effort to inform the upcoming Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s foreign Minister Summit about the stance of the Armenian nation on the Karabakh conflict–the Armenian Youth Federation of Western United States began a nation-wide petition drive in mid-November.

Thus far a large number of signatures have been collected to be sent to the participants of the OSCE Foreign Ministers Summit in mid-December–and AYF member–through the vast number of signatures–intend to make world leaders take notice of the Armenian people’s position on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and the Minsk Group efforts to settle it.

Various AYF chapters and councils have targeted their respective communities–including numerous schools–community centers–organizations and areas of public traffic.

In a coordinated campaign–the Armenian Revolutionary Federation Youth Organization of Lebanon has also begun a similar drive in order to make the appeal to the participants a strong and unified voice of the Armenian people. To accommodate the Asbarez readership–the petition will appear in its original format next week–and interested readers may sign–clip and return it to Asbarez.

Petitions will also be available at Sunday’s public gathering in support of Karabakh and its self-determination at Ferrahian School. Please see announcement on the bottom of the page.

The following is the text of the petition in its entirety. For more information contact the AYF Central Executive office at (818)507-1933 or ayfce@aol.com

Appeal to the Organization For Security and Cooperation in Europe

Summit of Foreign Ministers

Copenhagen–Denmark

December 15-17–1997

In the coming days–on your agenda dealing with European security issues–you will hold discussions on inter-ethnic conflicts–and within your collective responsibility–you will attempt to find the appropriate solutions to these conflicts–among which is the Nagorno-Karabakh issue.

For centuries–Nagorno-Karabakh has been an inseparable part of the Armenian people–and there exist no legal treaties or agreemen’s which indicate that it has ever been a part of Azerbaijan. During the totalitarian regime of Josef Stalin–this portion of Armenia was forcibly annexed to newly created Azerbaijan and for 70 years–this area lived under communism and Baku’s continuous dictatorship.

During the fall of the Soviet Union–the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast [Region]–by respecting all legal norms and principles–through a public referendum–declared itself an independent state. Today–the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic has elected a parliament [National Assembly]–its president and has created governmental and state institutions all based on democratic principles and through the free will of the people. It would be a great historic and human injustice–if this OSCE conference adopts a resolution which limits the right of the people of Karabakh to live freely–or if Nagorno-Karabakh is forcefully reannexed to Azerbaijan in the same Stalinian fashion–only to safeguard the interests of the international oil industry and in an effort to appease Azerbaijan. We–the Armenia’s of the Diaspora–appeal to you to become the advocates and torchbearers of Karabakh’s right to self-determination and endorse its right to self-rule.

We–who have survived the Armenian Genocide perpetrated by the Turkish government from 1915-1921–also resolve that the Armenian people remain determined in the fight for their rights and will not tolerate new injustices.

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