Press Release: Senior Karabakh Officials Highlight NKR Progress Duri

OFFICE OF THE NAGORNO KARABAKH REPUBLIC IN THE USA
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PRESS RELEASE
July 6, 2006

SENIOR KARABAKH OFFICIALS highlight nkr progress during u.S. visit
and CALL FOR GREATER American ENGAGEMENT

Washington, DC – Nagorno Karabakh Republic (NKR) Parliament Speaker
Ashot Ghulian and Foreign Minister Georgi Petrosian have successfully
concluded a series of meetings and public engagements during their
June 23-30, 2006 visit to the United States. The visit aimed to rally
stronger U.S. support for NKR’s democratic and economic development,
and to help end Azerbaijan’s aggressive policies toward Nagorno
Karabakh.

While in Washington, Ghulian and Petrosian met with the newly-appointed
United States envoy for the Karabakh peace process, Deputy Assistant
Secretary of State Matthew Bryza, key senate and congressional
leaders, policy experts, media representatives and senior staff of
Armenian-American advocacy organizations.

In their June 26 meeting with Bryza, Karabakh officials provided an
assessment of the most recent developments in the peace process,
while highlighting the lawful nature of the establishment of NKR
and its government’s strong adherence to peace and security in the
region. Bryza is expected to tour the region later this month.

NKR officials held separate meetings with Senators Lincoln Chafee
(R-RI) and Jack Reed (D-RI), House foreign assistance appropriators
Chairman Jim Kolbe (R-AZ) and Ranking Member Nita Lowey (D-NY),
and Co-chairs of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues
U.S. Representatives Joe Knollenberg (R-MI) and Frank Pallone,
Jr. (D-NJ). In those meetings, Ghulian and Petrosian highlighted
the democratic and economic gains made by NKR during 15 years of
independence, and called for increased U.S. assistance to help make
further progress. They also discussed Azerbaijan’s military build-up
and called for the U.S. to undertake the necessary steps to preserve
regional stability. Members of the U.S. Congress have pledged their
continued attention and support for Nagorno Karabakh.

On June 28, Speaker Ghulian and Foreign Minister Petrosian also spoke
at a U.S. Capitol reception organized in their honor. In addition
to the Armenian Caucus Co-chairs, Representatives Carolyn Maloney
(D-NY), Edward Royce (R-CA), Adam Schiff (D-CA), Brad Sherman (D-CA)
and George Radanovich (R-CA), as well as Armenian Ambassador to the
United States Dr. Tatoul Markarian and Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan
of the Eastern Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church, also spoke
at the reception attended by congressional staff, journalists and
Armenian community members.

Ghulian and Petrosian also addressed a capacity audience at a June
28 public event jointly organized by the U.S. Institute of Peace and
Washington-based German Marshall Fund and attended by government
officials, policy experts and media. NKR officials discussed
Azerbaijan’s continued effort to exclude Nagorno Karabakh from the
peace process and misrepresent the nature of the Karabakh conflict.

Parliament Speaker Ashot Ghulian stressed that "Nagorno-Karabakh’s
legal existence is completely in conformance with international
law." Foreign Minister Petrosian noted that "the Karabakh conflict is
fundamentally an issue of the right of our people to live free. But
Azerbaijan seeks to paint it as an inter-state, ethnic or even a
religious conflict. This only helps postpone the conflict’s peaceful
resolution… Our main goal is to be able to conduct normal relations
and live normal lives and we will defend that right with all possible
means."

The NKR officials’ visit to Washington concluded with a reception at
the Embassy of the Republic of Armenia hosted by Ambassador Markarian
and attended by U.S. and foreign diplomats, members of the Armenian
community and others.

Speaking at the reception, NKR Parliament Speaker Ghulian stressed that
"Nagorno Karabakh’s determination to remain free and independent is as
strong as ever. This visit is just another step towards international
recognition of this fact."

As part of their U.S. trip, NKR officials also visited New York
and Boston, where they met with state officials, media and Armenian
community representatives.

At the conclusion of the visit, NKR Representative in the United
States Vardan Barseghian remarked: "It’s time for the U.S. and the
international community to recognize Karabakh’s progress in building
a free, democratic and economically viable society in the strategic
South Caucasus. Karabakh is a serious and reliable partner when it
comes to bringing about greater stability, long-term peace, democracy
and prosperity to the region."

Barseghian also express his appreciation to Karabakh’s supporters in
the United States and those who helped to make this visit a success,
in particular Mrs. Rita Balian, Mr. Hirair Hovnanian, Mr. Hratch
Kaprielian, Mr. Raffi Megerian, Ms. Carolyn Mugar, Mrs. Annie Totah,
as well as the Armenian Embassy, the Armenian Assembly of America,
and the Armenian National Committee of America.

The Office of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic in the United States is
based in Washington, DC and works with the U.S. government, academia
and the public representing the official policies and interests of
the Nagorno Karabakh Republic.

* * *

This material is distributed by the Office of the Nagorno Karabakh
Republic in the USA on behalf of the Government of the Nagorno Karabakh
Republic. The NKR Office is registered with the U.S. Government under
the Foreign Agent Registration Act. Additional information is available
at the Department of Justice, Washington, D.C.

* * *

To request photos for publishing with the press release, send an
email to [email protected]

www.nkrusa.org

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