By Sara Rajabova
Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry spokesman Elman Abdullayev has slammed California State Legislature member Mike Gatto for his proposal for recognizing the independence of the occupied Nagorno-Karabakh as an independent state.
Gatto submitted the proposal to California State Legislature on January 6.
Abdullayev strongly criticized the Armenian lobby in the United States in this regard.
Commenting on the issue, Abdullayev told local media that the federal government, not the states determine the foreign policy of the United States.
Abdullayev said the job of lawmakers is to defend the laws, human rights, norms and principles of the international law.
He noted that Mike Gatto, who submitted the resolution, does not hide that he works together with the Armenian lobby, he has announced it on his website.
"Human values and human rights should be above all, they should not be sacrificed for personal and political interests. Mike Gatto's country supports Azerbaijan's territorial integrity. The U.S. is one of the members of the UN Security Council, which condemns the occupation of Azerbaijani territories," Abdullayev said.
He said Gatto turns a blind eye to all these facts and acts following the directives of the Armenian lobby, which shows that he is biased and pursues his own interests.
Gatto's resolution, which recognizes the occupied Nagorno Karabakh as a "sovereign state", refers to the rights of people to self-determination. However, it doesn't indicate the current regime of the so-called "Nagorno-Karabakh Republic" was established through the military occupation of the Azerbaijani territory and ethnic cleansing by the Armenian armed forces.
The Armenian media said Gatto works for closely with the Armenian organizations in the United States on legislative initiatives. He was also one of the authors of the resolution calling for the recognition of the so-called "Armenian genocide".
Turkic Diaspora of America has already opposed such a legislative initiative. Pax Turcica organization noted the fact that as a result of occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh and adjacent regions by Armenian armed forces in 1991-1994, more than 30,000 people was killed and over one million people became refugees and internally displaced persons.
The City Council of Highland in California adopted in November 2013 two proclamations, "recognizing the independence of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic" and "establishing a sister city relationship with the city of Berdzor in the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic."
Armenia occupied over 20 percent of Azerbaijan's internationally recognized territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent regions, after laying territorial claims against its South Caucasus neighbor that caused a brutal war in the early 1990s. Long-standing efforts by US, Russian and French mediators have been largely fruitless so far.
As a result of the military aggression of Armenia, over 20,000 Azerbaijanis were killed, 4,866 are reported missing and almost 100,000 were injured, and 50,000 were disabled.
The UN Security Council has passed four resolutions on Armenian withdrawal from the Azerbaijani territory, but they have not been enforced to this day.