Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug. 28
By Sabina Ahmadova - Trend:
The resolution passed by the California State Senate regarding Nagorno-Karabakh is an expression of opinion by a state legislative body and does not change U.S. foreign policy on the matter, the U.S. Embassy in Azerbaijan told Trend Aug. 28.
"U.S. foreign policy is determined by the federal government," the embassy said. "States are free to express their opinions but those opinions do not represent national foreign policy."
Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry Spokesman, Elman Abdullayev said today that the resolution on Nagorno-Karabakh, passed by the California State Senate, is declarative in nature and has no legal force.
"This fact calls into question the honesty of the senators who voted for passing this document," he added. "This was possible thanks to the financial support of the Armenian lobby in the U.S."
"The anti-Azerbaijani resolution AJR 32 on Nagorno-Karabakh has been on the agenda of the California State Senate for some time," according to a statement from Azerbaijan's Consulate General in Los Angeles.
"From the very beginning, a number of serious measures were undertaken by the Consulate General of Azerbaijan in Los Angeles to counter the resolution. These measures included, inter alia, sending letters of protest to all senators, holding numerous meetings with them, thus explaining the bias and flaws of the AJR 32, its contradiction to America's stated foreign policy and national interests, as well as the fact that this racist resolution justified ethnic cleansing and illegal occupation of Azerbaijani lands by Armenia," the consulate general said.
"As a result, despite inordinate amount of effort by the Armenian lobby in California, where around 1 million Armenians reside, despite all the efforts by the two Armenian members of the California Legislature, as well as in spite of all the pressure by this ethnic lobby on senators using threats, blackmail and other means, 17 out of 40 senators refused to vote for the resolution Aug. 27," according to the statement.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan.
As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
The two countries signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, France and the U.S. are currently holding peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented four U.N. Security Council resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.
Edited by CN