STEPANAKERT — On November 15, 2013, Artsakh Republic President Bako Sahakyan signed a decree awarding the “Appreciation” medal to several individuals who defended the self-determination rights of the people of Artsakh and for promoting international recognition of the Republic of Nagorno Karabagh. Included among the awardees is Mr. Vasken Kaltakjian, Chairman of the Louisiana chapter of the Armenian Council of America, and member of the Central Committee of Social Democrat Hunchakian Party.

On May 30 of this year, the Louisiana State Senate passed a Resolution recognizing the Nagorno Karabakh Republic, expressing support for its development as a free and independent nation in order to guarantee its citizens those rights inherent in a free and independent society.

The Resolution also urges the President of the United States and the House of Representatives to support the self-determination and democratic independence of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic and its constructive involvement with the international community’s efforts to reach a just and lasting solution to security issues in that strategically important region. The Louisiana State Legislature became the fourth state legislative body to recognize the Nagorno Karabakh Republic, previous States to do so are Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Maine.

The Resolution was spearheaded by Louisiana State Senator Edwin R. Murray (D-New Orleans), who worked closely with Mr. Kaltakdjian.

Others who have been awarded the medal are; Jim Kaloustyan, manager of the “Rx.Ante.Inc” company (USA), dealing with Boston health issues; Jonathan Hecht, member of the USA Massachusetts state House of Representatives; Ani Haroyan, member of the ARF-US East Coast; and Anna Astvatsaturyan-Turcotte, lawyer and writer.

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