AYF Concludes Massive Karabakh Petition Drive

BY ALEX SARDAR Asbarez Staff Writer

GLENDALE–The Armenian Youth Federation of the Western United States concluded its three week-long petition drive in support of Karabakh–Tuesday–with the sending of more than 11,000 petitions to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s Foreign Ministers Summit–which concluded its sixth session Friday– in Copenhagen– Denmark.

In an effort to inform the OSCE Summit about the stance of the Armenian nation on the Karabakh conflict–the AYF of the Western US began a nation-wide petition drive in mid-November. In conjunction with the Armenian Revolutionary Federation Youth Organization of Lebanon–the petition drive resulted in a community-wide campaign–which not only accumulated into a vast number of signatures–but at the same time brought about community awareness on the most recent and crucial developmen’s in the Armenian nation’s struggle for its homeland.

Various AYF chapters and councils 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 conducted the drive in order to make the appeal to the participants a strong and unified voice of the Armenian people.

In a short period of time–the Youth Organization of Lebanon collected an unprecdented number of signatures–making this a successful campaign.

To accommodate a larger number of community members–Asbarez Daily printed the petition in its entirety–both in Armenian and English–and the readership responded with an overwhelming return of signed petitions to the AYF-Central Executive office.

The petition text asked the assembled foreign ministers of OSCE member-countries to fairly and objectively evaluate conflict–taking into account the internationally guaranteed rights of the Armenia’s of Karabakh to self-determination.

"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 the newly created Azerbaijan and for 70 years–this area lived under communism and Baku’s continuous dictatorship," read the appeal.

The appeal referred to the democratic and international legal norms–according to which the Karabakh people declared themselves independent from Azeri rule. It further outlined the steadfast rise of a sound democratic and representative government–in which no effort has been spared to govern through the free will of the people.

In conclusion–the appeal once again stated the will of the Armenian nation–saying–"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."

The arrival of the thousands of signatures in Copenhagen coincided with the opening session of the OSCE Foreign Ministers Summit.

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