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U.S. State of Arizona recognizes Nagorno-Karabakh as Azerbaijani territory

31 May 2013 09:33 (UTC+04:00)
U.S. State of Arizona recognizes Nagorno-Karabakh as Azerbaijani territory

By Gulgiz Dadashova

The Arizona State Senate, the highest legislative body of the U.S. State of Arizona, adopted a resolution "recognizing and supporting the strategic partnership" between the United States and Azerbaijan on May 30.

The Azerbaijani Consulate General in Los Angeles reported that this is the first-ever resolution on Azerbaijan adopted by the Arizona legislature.

The resolution, which was adopted unanimously, recognizes Karabakh as part of Azerbaijan and stresses that Azerbaijan's sovereignty and territorial integrity is recognized and supported by the U.S. and United Nations.

The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict emerged in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Since a lengthy war in the early 1990s that displaced over one million Azerbaijanis, Armenian armed forces have occupied over 20 percent of Azerbaijan's internationally recognized territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent regions. The UN Security Council has adopted four resolutions on Armenia's withdrawal from the Azerbaijani territory, but Armenia has not followed them to this day.

The document also notes that the first secular democratic republic in the Muslim world - Azerbaijan Democratic Republic - was established in 1918, which "was among the first nation-states granting right to vote to women and was recognized by other democratic nations, including the United States of America."

The resolution notes that having restored its independence in 1991, "over the last twenty-two years, Azerbaijan has consolidated its sovereignty and independence and has become one of the fastest developing countries in the region and beyond."

"The election of Azerbaijan to the nonpermanent seat on the United Nations Security Council in October 2011 is a testament to the growing role and increased capabilities of this nation in maintaining peace and security in the wider Middle East," the document reads.

Touching the U.S.-Azerbaijan relations, the resolution notes that both countries have developed a strong strategic partnership based on shared values, interests and vision and Azerbaijan is a staunch ally of the United States in the critically important Caspian region.

"Azerbaijan was one of the first countries to render unconditional assistance to the United States after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, opening its airspace and airports for use by coalition troops in Afghanistan and sending its officers and soldiers to serve there shoulder‑to‑shoulder with American troops," the document reads.

"Possessing vast oil and gas resources, Azerbaijan contributes to the energy security of the United States and European nations and is a critical element of the "Southern Corridor," which will further enhance diversification of energy supplies to our European allies," the document noted.

The document also reads that Azerbaijan has a long-standing tradition of peaceful coexistence between various ethnic and religious communities and is one of the few secular countries in the Middle East with a predominately Muslim population that maintains close, friendly ties with Israel.

"It is critical for the United States to further strengthen relations with its allies such as Azerbaijan to advance our common interests, both now and in the future," the document concludes.

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