President of the Los Angeles City Council Paul Krekorian on Thursday was joined by fellow City Councilmember Traci Park and other officials to inaugurate and unveil city signs designating a corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Granville Avenue in Brentwood as “Republic of Artsakh Square.”
Joining the ceremony was Artsakh’s Permanent Representative to the U.S. Robert Avetisyan; former State Assembly member and a candidate for L.A. City Council Adrin Nazarian; and Glendale City Councilmember Elen Asatryan.
The intersection in front of the building that houses Azerbaijan’s Consulate General to Los Angeles.
After Krekorian and Parks unveiled the sign designating the square, the City Council President pointed out that the square was established “in support of peace, democracy and human rights.”
That message also resonated when Krekorian opened the event and in his remarks pointed to the barbaric actions of Azerbaijan and its president Ilham Aliyev, who have imposed an all out blockade of Artsakh since December 2022, subjecting the 120,000 residents of the region to deprivation of food, medicine, gas, electricity and other basic needs.
Krekorian pointed out that the world, especially the United States, continues to remain silent as another genocide of Armenians is underway in Artsakh. He called on President Joe Biden and his administration, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken to become more proactive, as the U.S. cannot stand idly while such gross violations of human rights are taking place.
A staunch advocate for Artsakh’s right to self-determination, Krekorian spearheaded the effort in City Hall to establish a Friendship City with Shushi. After the blockade, he and Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass twice appealed to Biden and Blinken regarding the gross violation of the rights of Artsakh residents, to no avail.
Councilmember Park, who represents the district where the “Republic of Artsakh Square” is located (CD-11) said the designation will go a long way in educating and informing people about the not only Artsakh, but the current devastation its people are enduring under the Azerbaijani regime.
She said that the City of Los Angeles must stand in support of the people of Artsakh and vocally condemn such egregious human rights violation. The people of Artsakh, she said, must know that L.A. is behind them and supports them one hundred percent.
Avetisyan thanked Krekorian and L.A. City Council not only for the designation of the square, but also for its decades-long support of Artsakh and its fight for self-determination and independence.
He said that the designation of the “Republic of Artsakh Square” will surely resonate with the people of Artsakh, as they will not feel abandoned and alone in the face of the blockade and will send a clear message to the world that Azerbaijan and its dictatorial regime are carrying out yet another genocide of Armenians.
Nazarian, who successfully shepherded the measure to recognize Artsakh independence in the State Assembly, said that when he undertook the effort as freshman Assemblymember, he could not imagine that the Armenian Nation, once again, would be on the brink of genocide.
He called on Biden, his administration, and especially Blinken, who has been hosting negotiations between Armenia and Azerbaijan, to impose sanctions and take steps to ensure that the Armenians of Artsakh are not annihilated. Nazarian also called on Samantha Power, the administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, to provide assistance to the people of Artsakh.
In her remarks, Asatryan, recalled a recent trip to Armenia, when she was not allowed to visit Artsakh and announced a decision adopted by the Glendale City Council on Tuesday to provided assistance to Artsakh Martuni, with which Glendale has a Friendship City status.
Following the presentations, the official unveiling of the sign took place led by Krekorian and Park, who were later joined by the other officials and a crowd of supporters gathered at the site.
Krekorian also presented Avetisyan a replica of the sign as a memento and as token of the unwavering support of the City of Los Angeles.