US congressmen criticize Azerbaijan’s military aggression and threats
14:03, 4 December, 2013
YEREVAN, DECEMBER 4, ARMENPRESS: Republic of Nagorno Karabakh Parliament Speaker Ashot Ghulyan headlined a Congressional celebration of 22 years of Artsakh's independence, featuring remarks by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) and other leading U.S. legislators. The Armenian National Committee of America informed Armenpress that the event was attended by the Karabakh Parliament Speaker Ashot Ghulyan, Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chairman Frank Pallone, US Congressman Brad Sherman, ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian, Armenia's Ambassador to the U.S. Tatoul Markarian and others.
In powerful remarks warmly welcomed by those in attendance, Chairman Royce challenged Baku's record of threats and aggression - including, notably, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev's pardon of Ramil Safarov, the convicted, unrepentant axe-murderer of an Armenian officer at a NATO peace training program in Hungary. The Chairman voiced his support for the search for a lasting regional peace, welcomed the resumption of the OSCE negotiations process, and spoke eloquently of his hopes for the long term security and prosperity of the people of Artsakh.
Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA), in his message, stressed that, "As a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, I have been a strong supportive and consistent voice for providing aid to the people of Artsakh and for a strong and cooperative relationship between the United States and the Nagorno Karabakh Republic." He added that he has "strongly supported the efforts of the Republic to reopen the newly renovated airport in Stepanakert".
Armenia's Ambassador to the U.S. Tatoul Markarian thanked the U.S. Congress for supporting Nagorno Karabakh's development and democratic aspirations, noting that events, such as this one, help "force Azerbaijan to negotiate a peaceful settlement. It makes sure that Azerbaijan has no doubts, that the alternative to a peaceful negotiated settlement will not be another war they desire, but the recognition of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic by the international community".
Speaker Ghulyan, in a sweeping address that covered the full array of Artsakh's domestic and foreign policy challenges, underscored that, "The last twenty-five years have taught us a lot. They have taught us not to allow any encroachment against our people's and our country's security. We have always said this, and we are ready to reaffirm that Artsakh's security cannot be subject to bargaining, and today, even more than twenty-five years ago, we are ready to defend our independence and freedom, but we are well aware that the final resolution of the Karabakh conflict is possible only through full, formal, civilized, and constructive negotiations".