April 10, 2013 | 22:31
The Maine House of Representatives and Senate passed a joint resolution this morning recognizing the independence of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR), and calling on the U.S. President and Congress “to support the self-determination and democratic independence” of NKR.
The resolution urged the President and Congress to support NKR’s “constructive involvement with the international community’s efforts to reach a just and lasting solution to security issues in that strategically important region”, Armenian Weekly reported.
The resolution was introduced by Rep. Scott Hamann (South Portland) and co-sponsored by Rep. Andrew M. Gattine (Westbrook) and Sara Gideon (Freeport).
Rep. Hamann worked closely with the ANCA of Maine and key community leaders, chief among them Anna Astvatsaturian Turcotte, a Baku pogroms survivor, lawyer, and noted author of the book “Nowhere: A Story of Exile.” The measure, which was brought to the floor for a vote earlier today and overwhelmingly adopted on a bipartisan basis, makes Maine the third U.S. state to pass legislation recognizing the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, ANCA reported..
“I am so proud of my state, the State of Maine, for supporting the right of the free Armenian people of Nagorno-Karabakh to freedom, democracy and independence through self-determination,” said Astvatsaturian Turcotte. “I hope other states follow their sister states Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Maine and do the right thing.”
The resolution passes nearly a year after the Rhode Island General Assembly passed a resolution in May 2012 supporting the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic’s efforts to develop as a free and independent nation. Through the diligent efforts of the ANCA of Rhode Island, the state became the first in the nation to urge the president and Congress to recognize the independence of Artsakh. Soon thereafter, the Massachusetts House of Representatives also passed a resolution supporting the self-determination and democratic independence of Nagorno- Karabakh.