YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–"I support the Karabakh Republic and the people’s will to self-determination regardless of any other factors," said Congressman George Radanovich (R-Calif.) in his address to the National Assembly of the Nagorno-Karabakh.
The US Congressman’s visit to Nagorno Karabakh was canceled because of inclement weather. He was to address the Karabakh Parliament Friday–however–the visiting Congressman requested that acting President Leonard Petrosian deliver the message on his behalf.
Excerpts from the text of the address follow:
"Mr. Chairman–distinguished members of the National Assembly of Nagorno Karabakh–I am honored to be here and bring best wishes from your friends and supporters in the United States–in Congress–and in my district of Fresno–California.
You are in a unique position as a newly declared Republic to set the course for your own future–a future which holds great promise for freedom–self-determination and secure borders for the Republic of Nagorno Karabakh.
First–however–I would like to pay tribute to the freedom fighters that allowed you to achieve your success to date; the heroes of Shushi–of Lachin–and of all the places where your rights were hard won on the field of battle.
…As you know from the tragedies of Sumgait and Kirovabad–Armenia’s were once again persecuted much like the 1915 Genocide. Wednesday–I visited the Genocide Memorial [in Yerevan] and saw the eternal flame which captured the spirit of those tragic memories. May it never happen again.
Karabakh has the right and the obligation to determine its own future. We support the establishment of secure borders–and linkages to Armenia–ensuring the safety of the citizens of Karabakh.
We have moved to a new stage in the effort to ensure this security with the current negotiations in Moscow. May they provide an international guarantee of the security and safety of your people and your borders. These negotiations may not achieve in Law all the goals of Karabakh. However–self-determination and secure borders guaranteed by international assistance must be achieved.
To help with this effort–I have
-Co-sponsored section 907 of the freedom support act in Congress eliminating US foreign aid to Azerbaijan;
– Sent letters–memorandums and talked with the State Department–the US administration and with my colleagues on Capitol Hill regarding direct humanitarian aid to Karabakh;
– Will continue to increase pressure–as appropriate–on international and national bodies to force Azerbaijan to lift the current blockade;
– Urged direct Karabakh representation at all negotiations;
Wednesday I met with Prime Minister [Robert] Kocharian and discussed these and other issues. We will continue to work with the prime minister and other officials to further the interests of Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia.
…God bless you and the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic."