YEREVAN, STEPANAKERT—Armenian and Artsakh officials on Thursday hailed news of Wednesday’s historic vote by the California State Senate recognizing Artsakh as an independent republic. The California State Senate, led by incoming Senate President Pro Tem Kevin De Leon, by an overwhelming majority of votes on passed Assembly member Mike Gatto’s resolution, AJR 32, encouraging Artsakh’s continuing efforts to develop as a free and independent nation and formally calling upon the President and Congress of the United States to support the self-determination and democratic independence of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic.
Artsakh’s presidential press secretary Davit Babayan said the Californian Senate’s passing of the resolution recognizing Artsakh is “a major and significant event for all Armenians.”
“The California Senate’s passing of the resolution means that this [US] state has finally accepted the independence of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. This is very symbolic,” noting that California recognized Karabakh’s independence a few days prior to Sept. 2, the day of Artsakh’s declaration of independence. “This is a gift from the residents of California to the people of Artsakh,” Babayan told Armenian News (News.am).
Babayan stressed that the US State of California is comparable to the world’s largest countries in terms of economic and demographic aspects, which adds further significance to the vote.
Babayan said he sees the vote as a testament to Artsakh’s commitment to liberty and democratic values.
Artsakh’s Foreign Minister Karen Mirzoyan said the California State Senate’s resolution proves that the civilized world welcomes Artsakh’s achievements in democratic state-building and reaffirms the belief that the people of Artsakh deserve freedom.
Mirzoyan said the resolution showed that Baku’s attempts at obstructing the Artsakh people’s efforts to build a free and democratic state are in vain.
“I am convinced that the recognition of Artsakh by international communities will only continue to grow,” Mirzoyan said.
Armenia’s Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian also welcomed the vote.
Nalbandian said, “The longer Azerbaijan hinders the efforts of Armenia and the Minsk Group Co-Chairs towards a settlement of the conflict, the more communities will adopt similar resolutions, paving the way for international recognition of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic.”