NKR: Members of Congress Express Continued Support For Artsakh

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December 13, 2006


Washington, DC – The Co-Chairs of the Congressional Caucus on
Armenian Issues, Joe Knollenberg (R-MI) and Frank Pallone, Jr.
(D-NJ), sent a letter to NKR President Arkady Ghoukasian
congratulating him on the adoption of the NKR Constitution and
expressing their full support for `Nagorno Karabakh’s political and
democratic development’. They also emphasized the importance of
establishing a free and democratic society, saying that `the
adoption of the first-ever Constitution of the Nagorno Karabakh
Republic, Artsakh, is a key milestone on this path.’

The constitutional referendum held last Sunday is a logical
continuation of the state-building process that started with
declaration of Artsakh’s independence in 1991.

`The charter was drafted after most progressive Western
constitutions while reflecting Artsakh’s own experience of the past
15 years and our own vision of the future, and as such it will pave
the way to further strengthening of Artsakh as a sovereign state and
promote greater democratic and economic development of our country,’
said NKR Representative in the United States Vardan Barseghian.

Approved by the overwhelming majority of Artsakh’s population in
presence of about 100 international and local observers, the NKR
Constitution specifically notes that NKR is a `sovereign,
democratic, rule of law, and social state’. NKR government structure
is based on democratic principle of separation of power and consists
of executive, legislative and judiciary branches. The state
guarantees basic human rights, such as freedom of assembly, speech,
and religion.

`The referendum conducted on December 10, 2006 on the NKR
Constitution meets most of the standards of the OSCE, the Council of
Europe and other international structures applied to democratic
elections and referenda. The counting of the votes in the polling
stations visited by us was exercised effectively and transparently,’
read the statement of the international observers.

Barseghian thanked Representatives Pallone and Knollenberg for their
unwavering commitment, outstanding vision, as well as critical
support of Artsakh’s successful efforts to build a free, democratic
and prosperous country.

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.

* * *
(The following is the full text of the letter of the Congressmen to
President Arkady Ghoukasian on December 11, 2006. To request a PDF
copy of the Co Chair’s letter, please write to [email protected])

December 11, 2006

H.E. Arkady Ghoukasian
President of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic
20th February Street, 3
Stepanakert, NKR

Dear President Ghoukasian,

We are writing to express our continued support for Nagorno
Karabakh’s political and democratic development. The adoption of the
first-ever Constitution of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic, Artsakh,
in a popular referendum last Sunday is a key milestone on this path.

We are pleased to see your citizens unwavering determination to set
an example of important democratic practices in the South Caucasus.
Artsakh’s Constitution embodies your nation’s values to live in a
free and fair society, where human rights and economic opportunities
are enjoyed by all. Societies that are fundamentally free and fair
are the most successful, contributing to international security and
progress along the way.

In addition, these universal values that both of our nations espouse
create an unshakable bond between the United States and Artsakh. A
bond that transcends short-term political or economic
considerations, it provides the most long-lasting basis for
friendship between our governments and our citizens.

We also recall the referendum on independence that the people of
Artsakh held in December, 1991, and which laid legal and political
foundations for the establishment of your Republic. That referendum
went ahead in spite of Azerbaijani rockets and bullets raining on
Artsakh and was a reflection of true civic activism. This year’s
referendum, held amid Azerbaijani threats of renewed violence, was
yet another sign of true patriotism.

Please be assured that we will remain by your side, as the Nagorno
Karabakh Republic, Artsakh, continues to pursue its freedom,
security and development.


[signed] [signed]
Fr ank Pallone, Jr. Joe Knollenberg
Member of Congress Member of Congress

* * *
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,


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