Baku, Azerbaijan, May 6
By Sabina Ahmadova -Trend:
California State Assembly's Rules Committee held a hearing on the pro-Armenian resolution against Azerbaijan on May 5, calling on U.S. Government to recognize the puppet regime called "Nagorno Karabakh Republic" introduced by Assemblyman Mike Gatto, according to the Consulate General of Azerbaijan in Los Angeles.
Before the hearing started, many members of California's Azerbaijani community held a protest action outside the State Capitol in Sacramento against this biased and flawed resolution.
Taking the floor first, the Head of Azerbaijan's Mountainous Jewish Community Milikh Yevdayev spoke of the strong traditions of tolerance and said that Armenians enjoyed living in Azerbaijan - in this multi-ethnic and tolerant society.
Yevdayev stressed that "despite much blood and tears shed, military occupation and ethnic cleansing committed against Azerbaijan by Armenia, today you can find over 25,000 Armenians still living in Baku and other major cities of Azerbaijan, which speaks volumes about the high level of tolerance of the Azerbaijani people.
Speaking afterwards, the President of the Azerbaijani-American Council Ismayil Rustamov stressed that so-called "Nagorno Karabakh Republic" had not been recognized by the U.S or any other country of the world. Rustamov highlighted that said that Azerbaijan has always been a reliable ally of the U.S.
Assemblyman Rocky Chavez expressed his opposition to the resolution, by stating that the Legislature should be very careful with international affairs. Referring to the Azerbaijani testimonies on ethnic cleansing by Armenia against Azerbaijanis, he implied that the self-determination cannot be achieved with ethnic cleansing.
Speaking afterwards, the Armenian member of the Committee Adrin Nazarian, the pro-Armenian members Scott Wilk and Cheryl Brown, offered extremely distorted and biased views on the conflict.
Now, the Armenian lobby has announced that the resolution will be considered on the Assembly floor on May 8. This is not a randomly chosen date. May 8 is the 22nd anniversary of the occupation of the city of Shusha - the cradle of Azerbaijani music and culture in Karabakh - by Armenia.
It should be noted that one of the members of the committee who adopted the draft resolution - Nazarian is an Armenian, and deputy chairman of the committee Wilk married an Armenian woman, and recently joined to the Armenian Gregorian Church.
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 the U.N. Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.