|By PR Newswire||
|December 13, 2013 10:23 AM EST|
LOS ANGELES, Dec. 13, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is issued by Azerbaijani American Council:
On the eve of Thanksgiving, a small California town became a victim of a remote international dispute. On November 26, at the request of "Mayor of Berdzor" in the so-called "Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR)", City of Highland, California opted into a sister relationship with the mysterious town. The claimed purpose is to collaborate for "preservation and exchange of mutual Christian values."
Highland taxpayers may have little idea where and what "Berdzor" is, so the City's decision may be in violation of its own Code of Ethics. According to the San Bernardino Sun, Highland Councilmember Jody Scott questioned her own 'yes' vote asking later: "What do we know about this [Nagorno-Karabakh] Republic?"
The international community knows "Berdzor" as the Azerbaijani town of Lachin occupied by the Armenian military since May 1992. In 1991-94, Armenia carried out a bitter Nagorno-Karabakh War against Azerbaijan, ethnically cleansing the entire population of Lachin, over 60,000 people, along with close to a million other Azerbaijanis. Armenian authorities continued to erase Azerbaijani cultural heritage and to sponsor Armenian settlement in the occupied regions.
Since the end of hostilities in 1994, the U.S., France and Russia have been mediating a peaceful settlement to the conflict. Neither the United States nor any other country recognizes the "NKR," a client regime unilaterally established by Armenia on the occupied territories. Meanwhile, some Armenian-American interest groups are disrupting the U.S. mediation efforts by seeking unconstitutional recognitions of the "NKR" through state and local governments. Sadly, these attempts are not only obstructing U.S. foreign policy, but also depriving Armenia of peace and prosperity.
In 2011, Forbes ranked Armenia as the world's second worst economy, while its population has declined in the past decade due to an excessive emigration. Millions of dollars in assistance became subject to rampant corruption and mismanagement, forcing the U.S. government to slash its $236 million Millennium Challenge aid to Armenia. The country's energy and defense infrastructure is completely owned by Russia, and last month, Armenia scrapped its EU neighborhood negotiations in favor of the Eurasian Customs Union, Vladimir Putin's signature project to revive the Soviet Empire.
Thus, instead of misleading elected officials into unethical decisions under a disguise of "mutual Christian values," the ethnic lobbying groups may want to rethink Armenia's future and to help achieve a just and dignified peace between the Armenians and the Azerbaijanis.
SOURCE Azerbaijani-American Council