Lawmakers in the U.S. state of Massachusetts have passed a resolution calling on U.S. President Barack Obama and Congress to “support the self-determination and democratic independence” of Nagorno-Karabakh.
The resolution, unanimously adopted on Monday by the state's House of Representatives, voices support for continued Armenian control over the disputed territory, saying that the Karabakh Armenians had been “severed from Armenia and forced under Soviet Azerbaijani administration.”
The document also commends last month's presidential election in Karabakh as “another major step” in its democratic development. It says international observers representing non-governmental organizations described the vote as free and fair.
The move follows the adoption of a similar resolution by the state legislature of Rhode Island in May.
Both resolutions were lobbied for by influential Armenian-American advocacy groups as well as the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic’s representative office in the United States. Massachusetts has a sizable ethnic Armenian population.
“Adoption of this resolution is in keeping with American values of promoting democracy and respect for the fundamental rights of all peoples,” James Kalustian, a senior member of the Armenian Assembly of America, said in a statement on Tuesday.
Azerbaijan’s government has not yet reacted to the development. There has also been no reaction from official Yerevan.
A combination of the internationally recognized principles of people’s self-determination and territorial integrity of states has been at the heart of peace proposals jointly made by the U.S., Russia and France to the parties to the Karabakh conflict in recent years.