On Tuesday, December 03, 2013, Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) recognized the Nagorno Karabakh Republic's movement towards liberation. An event in the Capitol building was organized by the Congressional Armenia Issues Caucus, of which Congressman Pallone is the co-chair and founder, in cooperation with the Armenian Embassy, the Nagorno Karabakh Republic office in the U.S. and Armenian-American organizations to mark the anniversary. It has been 22 years since the referendum in Nagorno Karbakh took place and the nation adopted its constitution.
Congressman Pallone welcomed Nagorno Karabakh Republic Speaker Ashot Ghoulian as the event's keynote speaker, along with Armenian Ambassador Tatoul Markarian. Nagorno Karabakh's representative Robert Avetisyan, who helped organize the event, was also in attendance. The leaders discussed the ongoing commitment to democracy and freedom in Nagorno Karabakh, and the importance of U.S. support in the region.
"For the past 22 years, Nagorno Karabakh has firmly demonstrated its commitment to democratic values and has proven to be a reliable partner to the international community," said Congressman Pallone. "Tonight's event is an opportunity to commend Nagorno Karabakh's meaningful contribution to regional stability and continued pursuit of restoring a war torn economy, strengthening a blossoming democracy, and promoting continued development and prosperity of an independent republic."
In 1991, as Armenia and Azerbaijan followed most soviet states in succession from the USSR, Nagorno Karabakh also voted to succeed. In an internationally monitored referendum, the Nagorno Karabakh population overwhelmingly voted to establish an independent Nagorno Karabakh Republic, currently known as NKR. However, the territory is still not recognized internationally.
Congressman Pallone has called for NKR's international recognition and official separation from Azerbaijan as a solution to the regional conflict and continued violence against the people of Nagorno Karabakh. He has also advocated for U.S. foreign aid to be provided to NKR in support for important projects that help rebuild infrastructure and public works programs.