GLENDALE—California State Senator Anthony J. Portantino (D – Burbank) met with Artsakh Foreign Minister Davit Babayan. The delegation also included Lernik Hovhannisyan, Artsakh Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sports, and Robert Avetisyan, Artsakh Permanent Representative to the United States and Canada. Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian, Glendale Mayor Ardy Kassakhian, and representatives of the ANCA-WR were also in attendance.
“I was honored to host Foreign Minister Babayan and Deputy Minister Hovhannisyan to learn more about the regional developments in Artsakh and the Syunik region,” stated Senator Portantino. “We heard heartbreaking stories affecting friends and family in California and discussed ways to support the people of Artsakh who simply want to live in peace. The international community needs to recognize the sovereignty of Artsakh and support the Armenian people who are facing a well-funded military and unprovoked attacks.”
Born in Artsakh’s capital Stepanakert, Davit Babayan has served as Foreign Minister of the Republic of Artsakh since January, 2021. Prior to that, he has held several positions in government ministries of the Artsakh Republic. Foreign Minister Babayan was recently in the United States on a working visit.
In 2021, Senator Portantino became first state or federal elected official to visit Artsakh since the end of the 44-day war. During the trip, he visited Taghavard village, the Lady Cox Rehabilitation Center, a school and a cemetery – witnessing first-hand the devastating effects of the war.