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Vice Speaker of Armenian Parliament: Madrid Principles are not the key element of the Karabakh peace process

US "deeply concerned" on criminal charges against Yunus family

US Department of State: It will take weeks to restore full visa processing capacity

VTB critical of EU's decision to restrict its access to capital markets

Rostelecom launches 40Gbs network in Yerevan

Electric power tariffs rise for population of Armenia on 1 August

Audit Chamber of Armenia calls silly statement claiming that ex-head of Pension Fund 'paid' $250,000 to Audit Chamber's leadership

Orange Foundation helps opening a new computer center in Pemzashen village, Shirak marz

Nominee for U.S. ambassador to Turkey: "Facilitating Armenia's regional integration by opening its border with Turkey will be one of my key goals as Ambassador"

Georgi Kolarov: The second Nagorno-Karabakh war is inevitable

Russian Embassy in Armenia gives a harsh response to the U.S. Embassy

Participants in Beeline's Fortune drawing campaign awarded prizes

Yerevan-Sevan-Ijevan-Azeri border highway to be open in late August

Armenian FM: Through its destructive stance Azerbaijan hinders the Nagorno-Karabakh peace progress

Up to 45% of Armenian citizens are potential emigrants

US Embassy urges Armenian businessmen to refrain from contacts with Russian companies

A leopard family in the south of Armenia gives birth to two cubs

Two Armenian soldiers die because of the Azerbaijani sabotage attack at the line of contact

Human rights activist Leyla and Arif Yunus are accused of secret collaboration with Armenian special services

Member-churches of World Council of Churches going to recognize Armenian Genocide in 2015

NKR foreign minister: Nagorno-Karabakh is where Europe begins

On Aug 2 South Caucasus Railway's commuter trains will be free of charge all over Armenia

Worker killed by a rock fall at perlite deposit in Aragatsavan

Azeris continue firing at Armenia's borderline villages

Serzh Sargsyan: OSCE Minsk Group has suggested principles that can serve as pivot for settling Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

Paruyr Hayrikyan: Armenia and Ukraine have a common "frenemy" in the person of Russia

Electric Networks of Armenia is going to dispute Public Services Regulatory Commission's decision to impose a 15mln AMD fine on it

Economist: In face of economic sanctions against Russia, it is necessary to speed up the process for creating Eurasian Economic Union

Economist: The West's sanctions against Russia will affect the Armenian economy

Rostelecom launches online payment service

Public Services Regulatory Commission of Armenia imposes a 15mln AMD fine on Electric Networks of Armenia

Oppositionist: Interests and viewpoints of Stepanakert do not necessarily coincide with those of Yerevan

Oppositionist: Interests and viewpoints of Stepanakert do not necessarily coincide with those of Yerevan

Ashot Manuicharyan: Armenian President's function is to answer "yes, sir!" and to go do it

Deputy Prime Minister of Azerbaijan criticizes the ICRC again

Nature protection minister charges to resolve problems of several tailing dumps on Syunik region

Official stance of VTB Bank OJSC and VTB Bank (Armenia) CJSC on U.S. sanctions

RPA member: Nagorno-Karabakh Prime Minister's statement had no message to negotiators

Ashot Manucharyan: Armenia may face chaos or isolation at any moment

Armenia joins World Day against Trafficking in Persons

Lake Sevan is among top ten attractions in post-Soviet preferred by Russian people

Leyla Yunus is at Prosecutor General's Office, Arif Yunus decides to "give up"

Pre-Parliament: The overarching goal for all Armenians is the formation of a representative government in Armenia

The OSCE is ready to assist in any way possible to stop the cease-fire violations in karabakh conflict zone, Andrzej Kasprzyk says

US Department of State: Media outlets of Armenia published inaccurate articles portraying religious minorities as criminals and spies

Levon Hayrapetyan loses consciousness on Wednesday morning

Public Services Regulatory Commission decides to reduce tariffs of some services of ArmenTel CJSC

Poaching and illegal hunting tours endanger birds in Armenia

The NKR premier: The Madrid Principles are certainly unacceptable to us

Armenian Copper Programme cuts blister copper production by 13.5%

ANCA: U.S. Policy on Nagorno Karabakh should align with universal values of freedom and democracy

  • by Ashot Safaryan

  • Wednesday, May 7, 11:38

 "The standard against which we measure our State Department's policy on Nagorno Karabakh is, of course, America's core commitment to the universal values of freedom and democracy," said Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) Executive Director Aram Hamparian. "Since the era in which we won our own independence, Americans have stood proudly on the side of liberty, rejecting foreign rule over free peoples, and defending - for ourselves and all humankind - the enduring principle that governments must derive their just powers from the consent of the governed."

"The Republic of Nagorno Karabakh's independence, like our own, represents the victory of democratic self-determination over foreign tyranny and aggression.  We rightfully celebrate and support this great triumph of the human spirit," noted Hamparian.  "As Americans, we should never ask others to live with less freedom than we would accept for ourselves."

The Republic of Nagorno Karabakh (Artsakh) is an integral part of historic Armenia that was arbitrarily carved out in 1921 by Joseph Stalin and placed under Soviet Azerbaijani administration, but with autonomous status, as part of the Soviet Union's divide-and- conquer strategy in the Caucasus. Nagorno Karabakh has never been part of an independent Azerbaijani state.

During seven decades of Soviet Azerbaijani rule, the Armenian population of Nagorno Karabakh was subjected to discriminatory policies aimed at its removal. Even after these efforts to force Armenians from their land, Nagorno Karabakh's pre-war population in 1988 was over 80% Armenian. In the late 1980's, the United States welcomed Nagorno Karabakh's historic challenge to the Soviet system and its leadership in sparking democratic movements in the Baltics and throughout the Soviet empire. Following a peaceful demand by Artsakh's legislative body to reunite the region with Armenia in 1988, Azerbaijan launched an ethnic cleansing campaign against individuals of Armenian descent with pogroms against civilians in several towns, including Sumgait and Baku.

On September 2, 1991, the people of Nagorno Karabakh declared independence from the Soviet Union and became the Nagorno Karabakh Republic. On December 10, 1991, Nagorno Karabakh held an independence referendum in which 82% of all voters participated and 99% voted for independence. In response, Azerbaijan launched an all-out war against the Nagorno Karabakh Republic, targeting civilians and recruiting Islamic extremist mujahideen from Afghanistan and Chechnya to join the Azerbaijani army against Christian Armenians.  A ceasefire was signed on May 12, 1994.

Since declaring independence in 1991, Nagorno Karabakh has successfully conducted five parliamentary and five presidential elections - that have been praised by international observers as free, fair and transparent. The most recent presidential elections held in July 2012 were favorably received by more than 80 international observers from two dozen countries, including the United States. Election observers included the former Rhode Island Attorney General Patrick Lynch and then Canadian Parliamentarian Jim Karygianni, who declared, "It was a picture perfect election from start to finish." Freedom House upgraded Karabakh's democracy status as a result in 2012. Parliamentary elections held in May 2010 were rated "free, fair and transparent" by an independent American-Dutch monitoring delegation sponsored by the Public International Law and Policy Group (PILPG), which noted that Karabakh "continues to make strong progress in establishing and sustaining a healthy and sustainable democracy."

To remind, the California State Assembly Rules Committee on Monday cast a historic vote supporting and encouraging Artsakh's (Nagorno Karabagh) continuing efforts to develop as a free and independent nation, and urging the President and Congress of the United States to support the self-determination and democratic independence of the Nagorno- Karabakh Republic, reported the Armenian National Committee of America - Western Region.  AJR 32, introduced by Assembly member Mike Gatto, was adopted by a vote of 9 yes, 1 no, and 1 member who did not vote and will now move to the full Assembly floor for a vote scheduled for May 8, 2014.

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