2012 -- H 8180

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LC02637

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STATE OF RHODE ISLAND

IN GENERAL ASSEMBLY

JANUARY SESSION, A.D. 2012

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H O U S E R E S O L U T I O N

SUPPORTING THE NAGORNO-KARABAKH REPUBLIC'S EFFORTS TO DEVELOP AS A

FREE AND INDEPENDENT NATION

     

     

     Introduced By: Representatives Fox, Mattiello, Corvese, McNamara, and Bennett

     Date Introduced: May 17, 2012

     Referred To: House read and passed

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     WHEREAS, The Region of Artsakh, also known as Mountainous Karabagh, is located in

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the Transcaucasus and has historically been Armenian territory, populated by an overwhelming

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majority of Armenians; and

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     WHEREAS, In 1923, the communist dictatorship of Joseph Stalin, in violation of the

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national, territorial, and human rights of the Armenian people, annexed part of the region of

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Artsakh which was composed of a 95 percent Armenian population, and joined it with the region

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of Soviet Azerbaijan; and

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     WHEREAS, For decades, Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh, having arbitrarily been

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severed from Armenia and forced under Soviet Azerbaijani administration, peacefully

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demonstrated for national independence and individual freedom and against Soviet Azerbaijani

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repression and discrimination; and

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     WHEREAS, In the years immediately preceding the Nagorno-Karabakh Republicís

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declaration of independence, these peaceful demonstrations were met with acts of violent

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repression by Soviet Azerbaijani forces who refused to allow the reestablishment of the people of

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Nagorno-Karabakhís national independence; and

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     WHEREAS, During the repressive and violent events leading to the birth of the Nagorno-

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Karabakh Republic, ethnic Armenians were killed in Sumgait (February, 1988), Kirovabad

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(November, 1988), and Baku (January, 1990), by Soviet Azerbaijani forces.† Over 350,000

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Armenians were forcibly deported from Azerbaijan; and

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     WHEREAS, In July of 1988, within months of the Sumgait tragedy, the United States

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Senate unanimously passed Amendment 2690 to the Fiscal Year 1989 Foreign Operations

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Appropriations bill (H.R. 4782), concerning the Karabakh conflict and calling on the Soviet

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government to "respect the legitimate aspirations of the Armenian people ..." and noted that

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"dozens of Armenians have been killed and hundreds injured during the recent unrests ..."; and

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     WHEREAS, The Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh would not be deterred and would not

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allow their dream of national independence, and their inherent desire for individual freedom, to

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be destroyed by violence and repression; and

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     WHEREAS, On December 10th of 1991, despite continued violence against the people of

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Nagorno-Karabakh, a popular referendum proclaiming the republic took place in Nagorno-

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Karabakh during the process of the Soviet Union disintegration; and †

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     WHEREAS, Under the watchful eye of more than 50 international observers and in full

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compliance with international standards for free and fair elections, more than 80 percent of the

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eligible voters in Nagorno-Karabakh cast a ballot.†Ninety-eight percent of those casting ballots

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overwhelmingly chose national independence and individual freedom, thereby choosing the path

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of democracy after decades of communist control; and

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     WHEREAS, The population of Nagorno-Karabakh then held free, democratic, and direct

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elections for its parliament; and

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     WHEREAS, On January 6th of 1992, the first-ever freely elected Parliament of Nagorno-

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Karabakh adopted a Declaration of Independence of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic; and

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     WHEREAS, From the earliest days of its formation, the Republicís freely elected

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governmental bodies have continuously striven to build an open and democratic society through

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free and transparent elections, affirmed by international observers; and

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     WHEREAS, Since signing a cease-fire agreement with Azerbaijan in 1994, after three

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years of armed conflict, the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic registered significant progress in post-

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war humanitarian and economic development; and

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     WHEREAS, Despite the 1994 cease-fire agreement, the Nagorno-Karabakh Republicís

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security and sovereignty continue to be threatened by regional tension and hostile acts; now,

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therefore be it †

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     RESOLVED, That this House of Representatives of the State of Rhode Island and

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Providence Plantations hereby encourages the Nagorno-Karabakh Republicís continuing efforts

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to develop as a free and independent nation in order to guarantee its citizens those rights inherent

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in a free and independent society; and be it further

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     RESOLVED, That this House hereby supports the Nagorno-Karabakh Republicís

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continued constructive involvement with the international community and its efforts to reach a

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lasting solution to the existing regional problems, and to establish peace and stability in the

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strategically important region of South Caucasus; and be it further

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     RESOLVED, That this House hereby respectfully urges the President and Congress of

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the United States of America to recognize the independence of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic

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and to encourage nations neighboring the Republic to foster and maintain peaceful relations with

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the people of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic.† We furthermore urge our countryís leaders to

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continue promoting humanitarian and economic rehabilitation of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic

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and to fully support its continuing development of a free and democratic society, with all the

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social, economic, and political advantages that such a free and democratic society brings to its

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citizens; and be it further

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     RESOLVED, That this House hereby memorializes the United States of America to

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support strengthening and solidifying our countryís relationship with the Nagorno-Karabakh

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Republic and its citizens, both culturally and economically, to insure the continued survival of

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this nationís burgeoning growth of freedom and democracy; and be it further

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     RESOLVED, That the Secretary of State be and he hereby is authorized and directed to

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transmit duly certified copies of this resolution to the President of the United States and to Rhode

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Islandís Congressional Delegation.

     

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LC02637

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H8180