by Tatevik Shahunyan
The Louisiana State Senate unanimously adopted a resolution, yesterday, condemning Azerbaijani pogroms against its Armenian citizens and called on the
U.S. government to press Baku to bring the perpetrators to justice, according to the Armenian National Committee of America - Eastern Region (ANCA-ER).
The measure was introduced by Senator Edwin Murray, who just last year spearheaded State Senate recognition of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic's independence and urged US support the self- determination and democratic independence of this developing democratic state.
This year's resolution, Senate Resolution 166, expresses "sympathy in support of the families of victims of massacres and atrocities perpetrated against the Armenian people in Azerbaijan." The measure goes on to call on the "President of the United States and the Congress [to] 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 [to justice]."
Read the complete text of the resolution. Vazken Kaltakdjian, Louisiana Chairman of the Armenian Council of America, worked closely with Senator Murray, Secretary of the Senate Glenn Koepp, Attorney John Seago and the broader Louisiana Armenian American community in moving this issue forward.
"The Louisiana State Senate once again spoke out for truth and justice by condemning Azerbaijan's vicious attacks against Artsakh and the Armenian populations in Baku, Sumgait and throughout the country," said Kaltakdjian. "Resolutions such as these are particularly important in the face of an unrepentant Aliyev regime, which regularly violates the fragile Nagorno Karabakh ceasefire."
ANCA Eastern Region Board Chairman Steve Mesrobian welcomed the initiative, stating, "We join with Armenians in Louisiana and across America in thanking Senator Edwin Murray and the Louisiana State Senate for condemning the Azerbaijan's anti-Armenian attacks and calling on the U.S. government to take concrete steps to bring the perpetrators to justice."
The U.S. has served as safe haven to tens of thousands of Armenian-Americans who are refugees of pogroms against Armenians in Sumgait (1988), Kirovabad (1988), and Baku (1990), and the ethnic- cleansing of the Armenian population of Azerbaijan. These pogroms set the stage for two decades of aggression by Azerbaijan, during which it launched and lost a war against Nagorno Karabakh, and later used its oil wealth to buy a massive military arsenal that its leaders, to this day, vow to use to renew their attempts to conquer a Christian people that have lived on these lands for thousands of years and,
after great challenges, have flourished in freedom from Soviet oppression for more than 20 years.