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Colorado Senate Kills Pro-Baku Resolution In Presence of Azeri Consul

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#1 Yervant1


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Posted 30 January 2015 - 11:35 AM

Colorado Senate Kills Pro-Baku Resolution In Presence of Azeri Consul General

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

Community thanks Colorado for withdrawing pro-Azerbaijani bill

DENVER, Colo.- Only moments before a scheduled vote on Thursday, the
Colorado State Senate pulled from consideration a controversial
measure (Resolution SJR 15-006) which would have, in the presence of a
visiting Azerbaijani diplomat, praised "the strategic partnership
between the United States of America and the Republic of Azerbaijan,"
reported the Armenian National Committee of America - Western Region

Sources from the State Capitol report the co-sponsor of the
resolution, Senator Larry Crowder, agreed to withdraw the resolution
from Thursday's vote schedule. The resolution has been rescheduled for
a vote on May 15, 2015; the Legislature however adjourns on May 7,
2015 thus effectively signaling its defeat.

Prior to withdrawing the resolution from a vote, however, Senator
Crowder took the floor and, in a move that confused many Colorado
citizens, acknowledged the presence of Nasimi Aghayev the Consul
General of Azerbaijan, paying tribute to a regime in Azerbaijan that
is widely criticized as a leading violator of human rights. Aghayev
surely expected to return to his office in Los Angeles boasting of a
legislative victory in Colorado. No such opportunity was even

ANCA WR Community Development Coordinator Simon Maghakyan and
Armenians of Colorado President Sona Hadeshian

"The speed and power of our grassroots' mobilization in Colorado
against the continued, albeit unsuccessful, attempts from the
Azerbaijani lobby to shamefully introduce legislation that blatantly
misrepresents facts is a real testament to our community's and
organization's resolve to pursue truth and justice for our Cause,"
remarked ANCA-WR Executive Director Elen Asatryan. "We are pleased
that Colorado joins Hawaii, Mississippi, South Dakota, Tennessee and
Wyoming in affirming that it too is not for sale to the oil-rich and
corrupt regime of Ilham Aliyev's Azerbaijan. We were particularly
gratified to see Senator Crowder reconsider and ultimately withdraw
the resolution after gaining a fuller understanding of the facts about
Azerbaijan's domestic abuses and foreign aggression," added Asatryan.

In the days leading up to today's vote, ANCA-WR worked with local
community leaders and activists to alert state legislators about the
corrupt and authoritarian regime of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev
and the country's gross human rights violations, coverage of which has
increased in the American press most recently in the Wall Street
Journal and The New York Times, under the headlines, "A Thuggish
Regime Challenges the U.S." and "The Two Faces of Azerbaijan's Mr.
Aliyev" respectively.

More specifically, on Monday, January 26 ANCA WR Executive Director
Elen Asatryan submitted a written statement to the Colorado State
Senate voicing strong opposition to SJR15-006, noting the proposed
resolution's blatant misrepresentation of the truth with respect to
the Republic of Azerbaijan, U.S.- Azeri relations and the status of
Nagorno-Karabakh. On Wednesday January 28th, ANCA-WR also issued an
action alert, through which Coloradans were actively writing to and
calling State Senator Larry Crowder and key state legislators urging
that they VOTE NO on SJR15-006.

Upon learning of the resolution, which includes an incorrect citation
that the United States recognizes Nagorno-Karabakh as part of
Azerbaijan, the President of Armenians of Colorado, Sona Hedeshian,
along with many others quickly reached out to their elected officials
urging them to reconsider the vote. "We deeply appreciate that our
elected officials took the time to hear our concerns. Hopefully, we
will not find ourselves in similar situations in the future," stated

Dr. Ken Touryan, a resident of Denver, Colorado, thanked Colorado
Senator Kevin Lundberg and the Republican leadership for carefully
reviewing the inaccuracies of the proposed resolution and deciding to
effectively withdraw it.

"I was shocked that our Colorado state legislature would even consider
honoring a dictatorship that threatens Armenia on a daily basis. The
defeated resolution would have contradicted Colorado's staunch support
for Armenian issues going back to WWI, including a 1921 joint
unanimous resolution on assisting the survivors of the Armenian
Genocide and providing support for the Armenian Republic," stated an
active member of the Colorado Armenian community, Kim Christianian.

"We are grateful for the collective efforts of the ANCA-WR and for the
concerned citizens of Colorado who worked with their elected
representatives to help prevent the adoption of an erroneous motion in
the Colorado State Legislature," expressed Mr. Robert Avetisyan,
Representative of the Nagorno KarabakhRepublic (NKR) in the United
States. "Unfortunately, legislatures across the U.S, are often
misguided by biased and one-sided information about Artsakh, which
distorts the historical facts and current realities. It is very
important that Armenians and all supporters of truth continue sharing
objective information regarding the NKR," he added.

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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