LOS ANGELES – On August 19, Consul General of Armenia in Los Angeles Ambassador Armen Baibourtian presented Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Krekorian with the Medal of Gratitude, one of the highest official awards of Armenia. It was awarded by the President of Armenia upon the recommendation of the Prime Minister. The awarding ceremony took place in the Council Chambers of the Los Angeles City Hall. “For his years-long Armenian-focused activities and significant contribution towards strengthening and enhancing the Armenian-American friendly relations, the Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Krekorian is hereby awarded with the Medal of Gratitude of the Republic of Armenia”, is noted in the presidential decree.

During the award presentation ceremony, Ambassador Baibourtian underlined in his speech that Councilmember Paul Krekorian is awarded with this prestigious medal for his boundless and unwavering devotion towards the welfare of the Homeland and highly appreciated his work in both capacities of an Assemblymember of the California State Assembly and a Councilmember of the Los Angeles City Council. He reminded that Los Angeles is the second largest city of the United States. The Consul General emphasized the valuable contribution of Paul Krekorian to the strengthening of Armenia-California bonds and his input in addressing issues facing the Armenian community, as well as his efforts in supporting Armenia and Artsakh.

Due to Councilmember Krekorian’s efforts, the Los Angeles City Council adopted the Los Angeles-Shushi Friendship City agreement back in 2012. The Los Angeles City Council recognized the independence of the Republic of Artsakh as a sovereign state in 2013 by adoption of a special resolution. Consul General Baibourtian stressed the importance of the Los Angeles City Council’s condemnation of the war unleashed by Azerbaijan with the assistance of Turkey in 2020 and the City’s demand to stop the aggression against the Armenian people through several resolutions. “Within the first days of the Artsakh War in the fall of 2020, Paul Krekorian began to unite and consolidate California American political and state leaders in pursuit of ending the Azerbaijani unleashed war against Artsakh. As a result, on October 5, 2020, U.S. Congressmen, California Assembly leaders and members, and Los Angeles City Council leaders and elected officials spoke at a joint press conference at the LA City Hall. During the 44-day war and in its aftermath, thanks to Paul Krekorian, the Los Angeles City Council unanimously adopted a resolution confirming the support of the City of Los Angeles to the people of the Republic of Artsakh. At Paul Krekorian’s initiative, the Los Angeles City Council unanimously adopted yet another resolution, in which it demanded Azerbaijan to immediately release the Armenian prisoners of war (POWs) and captured civilians. Moreover, November 9th was declared as a Day of Remembrance and Commemoration of the victims of Azerbaijan’s aggression against Artsakh.

Ambassador Baibourtian also stated that during the days of the Artsakh war, mainly due to the efforts of Councilmember Krekorian and the entire City Council, the American lobbying company “Mercury” stopped its cooperation with Turkey. Consul General Baibourtian also noted that Krekorian was instrumental in addressing certain issues of the Armenian community of America. For instance, thanks to Krekorian, the Armenian language was also included in the list of printed electoral materials. Ambassador Baibourtian also stressed that Paul Krekorian organized a very warm reception at the Los Angeles City Hall extended hospitality to the Prime Minister of Armenia at Grand Park in September 2019. “All these facts testify towards a very important contribution to the Armenia-United States relations, for which we express our profound appreciation to him today,” said Ambassador Baibourtian.

LA City Councilmember Paul Krekorian, in his turn, expressed gratitude for receiving the high award of the Republic of Armenia. He noted that he just fulfilled his duty as an Armenian and expressed his readiness to always stand by Armenia and Artsakh. “We should always be with our Homeland and cherish it.”

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