SACRAMENTO—Assemblymember Chris Holden on Thursday introduced a resolution condemning Azerbaijan’s blockade of Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh) and calling for the Biden Administration to take tangible action to hold the Azerbajani government accountable for its flagrant violations of international human rights.
The resolution, known as AJR 1, urges the Administration to ensure emergency humanitarian assistance is made available to the Armenians of Artsakh. Azerbaijan has cut off power to Artsakh during the blockade that began on December 12, 2022. Over 120,000 people, including women, children, elderly, disabled among others are left fifty-three days without heat in the freezing winter.
“California is home to a large diaspora of Armenian Americans, many whose family and friends are being impacted by the continued blockade,” said Assemblymember Chris Holden. “I may not be Armenian but my heart aches alongside the Armenian diaspora community as their homeland continues to be under attack by Azerbaijani forces.”
“The ANCA-Western Region has enjoyed a productive and collaborative working relationship with Assemblymember Holden for many years, and we are grateful for his initiative in introducing this Resolution calling for the end to U.S. assistance to Azerbaijan, accountability for its illegal blockade of Artsakh, and assistance to the Armenians of Artsakh who are on the verge of a humanitarian crisis,” said Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region Chair Nora Hovsepian, Esq.
“We look forward to working with our friends in Sacramento in both houses of the State Legislature to ensure that this Resolution is passed, just as we have welcomed supportive statements from California’s Governor and Lieutenant Governor as well as County and City leaders on the same issue. As the largest Armenian Diaspora community, the voice of California-Armenians must be heard loud and clear in Washington DC, and this resolution will greatly contribute to our ongoing efforts in this regard,” added Hovsepian.
Last month, Holden joined his colleagues in the California Armenian Legislative Caucus in a letter to the Biden administration, urging for the Administration to make every effort to open the Lachin Corridor, the only route linking Arstakh and Armenia.