BATON ROUGE, LA—The Louisiana branch of the Armenian Council of America (ACA) reports, on May 28, the Louisiana State Senate passed Senate Resolution 166 expressing sympathy in support of the families of victims of massacres and atrocities perpetrated against the Armenian people in Azerbaijan. The Resolution also condemns the Azerbaijani government for falsifying historical facts to distort international opinion and avoid responsibility for the violence and atrocities, and requests that the President of the United States and the Congress exert all available influence on the government of Azerbaijan to cease the falsification of the historical facts and bring those in Azerbaijan who are responsible for the Armenian massacres in Sumgait, Baku, Kirovabad, Maragha, Nagorno-Karabahk, and of the citizens of Khojaly to justice.

SR 166 was spearheaded by Louisiana State Senator Edwin R. Murray D-New Orleans, who worked closely with ACA of Louisiana to ensure the resolution’s passage. “The Armenian community of Louisiana is grateful to have a legislature that does not bow to outside pressure when it comes to historical truths” said Louisiana ACA Chairman, Mr. Vasken Kaltakdjian. “Truth will always prevail against historical propagandists and I thank Senator Murray along with the other Legislatures for the passage of this Resolution.”

“We are grateful for the Louisiana State Senate’s continued support of truth and justice. Adoption of the SR 166 reiterates that Azerbaijan’s aggression and crimes against Armenians have no expiration date,” said Permanent Representative of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic to the United States, Mr. Robert Avetisyan. “Tens of thousands of current Armenians have suffered from Azerbaijan’s anti-Armenian xenophobia. All of them, as well as those in Artsakh who continue facing everyday threats from Baku, hope that the crimes, anti-Armenian hatred and threats of renewed aggression will receive the adequate condemnation by the international community.”

The Louisiana State Legislature becomes the first state legislative body to address the massacres and atrocities perpetrated against the Armenian people in Azerbaijan and ask for those responsible to be brought to justice.

In 2013, the Louisiana State Senate became the fourth state legislative body to recognize the Nagorno Karabakh Republic and ask the United States Administration, along with Congress to support the self-determination and democratic independence of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic.

The full text of the resolution is provided below:

To express sympathy in support of the families of victims of massacres and atrocities perpetrated against the Armenian people in Azerbaijan.

WHEREAS, the Armenian populated area of Nagorno-Karabakh is located between the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan; and

WHEREAS, in 1920 the Soviet Union forcibly established control over the areas of Armenia and Azerbaijan; and

WHEREAS, the Soviet Union created the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast within Azerbaijan in 1923 and this region became a source of dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan; and

WHEREAS, in 1988, the Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh peacefully demonstrated against Azerbaijan for the right of self-determination and individual freedom from repression and discrimination; and

WHEREAS, in February 1988, in the seaside town of Sumgait in Soviet Azerbaijan a pogrom targeted the Armenian population when mobs composed of largely ethnic Azerbaijans formed groups which attacked and killed hundreds of Armenians on the streets, in their apartments in a situation that was allowed to continue by Soviet and Azerbaijan officials for three days before government forces imposed a state of martial law and curfew bringing the crisis to an end; and

WHEREAS, the crimes committed against Armenians in Sumgait remain unpunished thereby opening the door for similar atrocities against the Armenian people starting in the capital Baku and spreading to other areas of Azerbaijan and Nagorno-Karabakh; and

WHEREAS, Azerbaijan seeks to avoid responsibility for the violence and atrocities by falsifying historical events and by portraying the involvement of Soviet troops to Baku to restore order on the seventh day of the Armenian atrocities as a crackdown on the alleged independence movement in Azerbaijan; and

WHEREAS, it is well known that there was no large scale movement for independence in Azerbaijan due to the fact in a March 1991, referendum that more than 94% of the Azerbaijan constituencies favored preserving the Soviet Union; and

WHEREAS, Azerbaijan continues to distort events of other atrocities, including the events in the village of Khojaly in which Azerbaijan troops fired on their own population and the deportation of Armenian villages in Nagorno-Karabakh.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Senate of the Legislature of Louisiana does hereby express sympathy in support of the families of victims of massacres and atrocities perpetrated against the Armenian people in Azerbaijan.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Senate requests that the President of the United States and the Congress exert all available influence on the government of Azerbaijan to cease the falsification of the historical facts and bring those in Azerbaijan who are responsible for the Armenian massacres in Sumgait, Baku, Kirovabad, Maragha, Nagorno-Karabahk, and of the citizens of Khojaly.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a copy of this Resolution shall be transmitted to the President of the United States of America, the secretary of the United States Senate, the clerk of the United States House of Representatives, and each member of the Louisiana delegation to the United States Congress.

The Armenian Council of America is a grassroots organization dedicated to working with all political leaders, offering Armenian related news, analysis and resources for policymakers, media, students and activists, advocating issues important to Armenian Americans. The Armenian Council of America aims to strengthen U.S. – Armenia and U.S. – Nagorno Karabakh ties, the development of programs promoting sustainable economic growth and good governance in Armenia, while promoting the values and responsibilities of global citizenship.

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