Having recognized the independence and sovereignty of the Republic of Artsakh seven years ago, the Los Angeles City Council on Thursday urged the United States Government to follow the city’s lead. In a resolution introduced by Councilmember Paul Krekorian, the City Council unanimously renewed its own recognition of Artsakh’s independence, and it instructed its Washington lobbyist to advocate for the United States to recognize, at long last, the Republic of Artsakh.
Krekorian had previously led Los Angeles in taking a series of groundbreaking steps in support of Artsakh. In 2013, the Councilmember offered a resolution approved by the Council that called on the City of Los Angeles and the international community to formally recognize the Republic of Artsakh as a free, independent and sovereign state. Krekorian has also welcomed the President of Artsakh and other government leaders from Artsakh at Los Angeles City Hall with full diplomatic protocols befitting the leaders of a foreign state.
In 2018, at Krekorian’s request, the Council declared “Artsakh Day” in the City of Los Angeles and renewed its call to the international community to recognize the Republic of Artsakh as a free, independent and sovereign state.
The City of Los Angeles has also maintained a warm “friendship city” relationship with the city of Shushi in Artsakh. Krekorian and his Council colleague Bob Blumenfield, together with members of the California State Legislature, were in Artsakh in 2013 for the official naming of “Los Angeles-Shushi Friendship Park.”
Thursday’s resolution comes in the wake of the recent brutal, genocidal invasion of Artsakh by Azerbaijan, with the full support of Turkey, and terrorist mercenaries from Libya and Syria. The resolution seeks international action to hold Azerbaijan and Turkey accountable for their aggression and to ensure punishment for war crimes and atrocities. “The savage invasion of Artsakh is a blow against freedom, democracy and self-determination everywhere,” said Krekorian. “The American government and indeed all nations have a moral responsibility to reaffirm support for these principles and to hold the aggressors accountable.”
In introducing his resolution, Krekorian noted that the struggle for independence by the indigenous Armenian people of Artsakh parallels the history of the founding of the United States. “The people of Artsakh have courageously fought to establish a democratic nation committed to the values of liberty and self-determination, just as did the patriots who fought the British Empire to create the constitutional democracy we cherish in the United States of America,” said Krekorian. “The United States, and all freedom-loving nations, should support the brave and resolute people of Artsakh by recognizing their independence, and also by standing firmly against the Turkish and Azeri dictators who seek to crush democracy through force.”