Hawaii Recognizes Nagorno Karabakh Republic’s Independence

Thank You Hawaii

Thank You Hawaii

Unanimous Vote a Resounding Support for Artsakh Freedom on Eve of Azerbaijani President Aliyev’s trip with the U.S.

HONOLULU, Hawaii — Hawaii became the seventh state to rally in support of the democratic development and right to self-determination for the people of Artsakh Tuesday, voting unanimously to recognize the Nagorno Karabakh Republic, reported the Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region (ANCA-WR).

The Hawaii House of Representatives consideration of H.R. 167 took place despite enormous pressure from the Azerbaijani Embassy to quash the measure, with the key vote taking place just 24 hours before Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s visit to Washington, DC to join President Obama and other world leaders in the nuclear summit.

The historic vote specifically voiced encouragement for Artsakh’s (Nagorno Karabagh) continuing efforts to develop as a free and independent nation and formally called the internal community to recognize the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic as a free, independent, and sovereign democracy.

“Today the people of Hawaii stood on the side of freedom and independence for the people of Artsakh – standing strong against powerful lobbying interests seeking to undermine fundamental American and Armenian principles of democracy and self-determination. Our heartfelt appreciation goes out to Representatives Angus McKelvey and John Mizuno for leading this effort and the entire House of Representatives for taking such a strong stance along with our grassroots for their efforts,” stated ANCA WR Executive Director Elen Asatryan.

Community Members Artur Artenian and Rudy Dekermenjian with Repsentatives McKelvey and Cachola after Unanimous Floor Vote Recognizing Artsakh's Independence

Community Members Artur Artenian and Rudy Dekermenjian with Repsentatives McKelvey and Cachola after Unanimous Floor Vote Recognizing Artsakh’s Independence

The Nagorno Karabakh Republic Representative to the U.S. Robert Avetisyan hailed the decision, stating, “I am grateful to the House of Representatives of the State of Hawaii, Representative McKelvey, Representative Mizuno, and all their colleagues who supported this motion. It reinforces Artsakhtsis’ confidence that our achievements do not go unnoticed; that a free and independent Nagorno Karabakh Republic will eventually be recognized as such by the entire civilized community of nations.”

Both Avetisyan and Asatryan offered special thanks to community advocate Artur Artenyan, who worked tirelessly in support of the measure, with the support of the growing Hawaii Armenian community. In 2014, through local community efforts, the Hawaii legislature publicly debated and then rejected a pair of Azerbaijan-initiated anti-Armenian measures, dealing a high-profile setback to Baku’s well-funded effort to enlist U.S. state legislatures in its increasingly aggressive campaign against Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh. Artenian and Rudy Dekermenjian were on hand at the state capitol during the introduction and the vote.

In the days leading up to the unanimous vote on H.R.167, the ANCA Western Region worked with Artenyan and key House legislators, offering insights on Artsakh’s two decades of democratic development and economic progress in the face of increased attacks by Azerbaijani forces, which hit record levels in 2015.

Hawaii joins Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maine, Louisiana, California and, most recently, Georgia in adopting legislation which supports the independence of Artsakh. Full language of the resolution may be found online athttps://legiscan.com/HI/text/HR167/id/1378938

The Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region is the largest and most influential Armenian American grassroots advocacy organization in the Western United States. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout the Western United States and affiliated organizations around the country, the ANCA-WR advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues.


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  1. Satenik said:

    Good news! Let us hope other States follow this too. After all independence and self determination should be applauded by every States of the USA!!!!

  2. Sylva~MD~poetry said:

    Congrats for Hawaii and Thankful for their people,
    to recognize Arsakh…as an Armenian Land

    Hawaii is the birth place of P. Obama …
    He was raised there with his single mother
    and dedicated grandparents looked after him …
    To be president of USA and he reached there….
    Now it is his turn to believe in his birth place
    And their people and their parliament
    To recognize Armenian genocide …
    No more escape …

    Dr. Sylva Portoian
    March 30, 2016

  3. Sylva~MD~poetry said:

    This Historical Verse is old (April 10, 2009) from my poetry collection
    “My Son- My Sun: Chants Ann Obam’s Mother”

    E-Mail to President O.B (Barak Obama) in His Birth State
    As Aloha State* officially marks atrocity during the President’’s visit to Turkey

    I’’m sure you were able
    To loudly sing in your land——
    Where you thrived and played Hence . . .
    never in those others’’ places . . .

    Where every Trustless human,
    Bark there to achieve his aim.

    You’’re surrounded
    By such real enemies
    Even if you scream
    Nobody wants to hear.

    Thanks for your comments.
    You can’’t do any better and
    We will solve our problems’’
    Sooner or later!

    Please, take care of yourself . . . and
    Your loved ones:
    They love you with all their hearts,
    Even the honest tortured Armenians——Us!
    April 10, 2009
    *Honolulu Hawaii——On April 6, 2009, Hawaii, home to President Barack Obama,
    became the 42nd U.S State to recognize the Armenian Genocide, with the
    State House of Representatives adopting a formal measure (HR192)
    that both condemned this crime and noted Turkey’’s ongoing denial of the atrocity.
    The measure was adopted unanimously on the day of the president’’s trip to Turkey and declares April 24
    as a ““Day of Remembrance in Recognition of and Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide of 1915.””
    Up until April 24, 2010: 44 out of 50 states have recognized The Armenian Genocide

  4. mrs salpy stepanian said:

    thank you Hawaii
    may God bless all those who made this historic event come true and finally justice prevailed .-montreal, Canada march 31,2016

  5. Raffi said:

    I respect every individual, state or organization that has the courage to stand for truth. Bravo!