House Members Honor 17th Anniversary of Karabagh Liberation Movement

Congressional Armenian Caucus organizes special order speeches

WASHINGTON–DC–Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chairs Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Joe Knollenberg (R-MI) were joined by Representatives Rush Holt (D-NJ)–Carolyn Maloney (D-NY)–and Michael McNulty (D-NY)–last week–in commemorating the 17th anniversary of the Mountainous Karabagh liberation movement–reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA.) The House Members stressed their commitment in ensuring a lasting and peaceful resolution to the Karabagh conflict.

"We join with the people of Nagorno Karabagh–Armenia’s around the world–and throughout the United States in thanking Representatives Frank Pallone–Joe Knollenberg–Rush Holt–Carolyn Maloney–and Michael McNulty for helping to mark the 17th anniversary of the Nagorno Karabagh liberation movement," said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. "In 1988–the people of Nagorno Karabagh–at great sacrifice–were the first to rise up against Soviet misrule–sparking powerful pro-democracy movemen’s that would bring an end to the Cold War and ultimately make the United States and the entire world safer."

In Special Order speeches organized by the Congressional Armenian Caucus–the Representatives called attention to Mountainous Karabagh Republic’s commitment to self-determination and regional peace. In his remarks–Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chairman Frank Pallone reviewed Karabagh’s efforts to end Soviet-era oppression of its citizenry.

"During the seven decades of Soviet rule–the Armenia’s of Nagorno Karabagh repeatedly stated to each successive Soviet regime their desire to be joined against with Armenia. These peaceful and legal maneuvers were met with violent repression and forced settlement of ethnic Azeris into Nagorno Karabagh," explained Rep. Pallone. He noted that on the fall of the Soviet Union–the "Nagorno Karabagh population overwhelmingly voted to establish an independent Nagorno Karabagh Republic–currently known as Nagorno Karabagh Republic." Noting his participation in an election-monitoring group for the Karabagh presidential elections–he praised the strengthening of democracy in the state. "This process is astounding considering that Nagorno Karabagh Republic is not recognized internationally; that they still must deal every day with Azeri aggression–and that their economy is still devastated from the war," stated Pallone.

New York Democrat Carolyn Maloney remarked that "The people of Nagorno Karabagh courageously defended their right to live freely on their ancestral lands." She went on to cite the importance of ongoing US assistance to Nagorno Karabagh–"which has a vital role in achieving a peaceful and stable South Caucasus region."

Rep. McNulty noted that "Nagorno Karabagh continues to strengthen its statehood with a democratically elected government–a capable armed forces and independent foreign policy. I stand with the people of Nagorno Karabagh in celebrating their continuing freedom and democracy."

Rep. Holt cited the importance of finding a peaceful and lasting resolution to the Karabagh conflict. "Just as the people of Nagorno Karabagh saw the necessity of a peaceful secession from Azerbaijan seventeen years ago–so too must a peaceful resolution be achieved with this current conflict. . .The United States will continue to promote the cause of our democratic friends in Nagorno Karabagh–not yielding until the goals set forth on February 20–1988–have been fully realized."

Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chairs Frank Pallone and Joe Knollenberg sent a congratulatory letter to Karabagh President Arkady Ghoukasian–commending the Karabagh people on the 17th anniversary of the liberation movement and pledging support for continued efforts to find a lasting peace in the region.

The complete texts of the Congressional statemen’s may be found on the ANCA website at the following link: www.anca.org/press_releases/press_releases.php?prid=709

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