Arizona State Legislature expresses support for Azerbaijan's territorial integrity
On January 30, 2014, the State Senate and House of Representatives of Arizona adopted a resolution dedicated to Azerbaijan.
The Consul General of Azerbaijan in Los Angeles Nasimi Aghayev attended the plenary sessions of both chambers during the adoption of the resolutions. Before the adoption, the resolution authors presented the Consul General to the legislators and stressed the importance of Azerbaijan for the United States. Then the resolution was unanimously adopted by both houses of the Legislature.
The resolution notes that the United States and Arizona support Azerbaijan's territorial integrity and sovereignty, and the international community does not recognize Nagorno-Karabakh as an independent entity. It says that the "OSCE Minsk Group is tasked to facilitate negotiations between Armenia and Azerbaijan toward a political settlement of the conflict based on the principles and norms of international law and the decisions and documents adopted by the OSCE and the applicable UN Security Council resolutions." In this regard, the resolution stresses that the "UN Security Council, in its resolutions 822, 853, 874 and 884, and the international community, including NATO, the UN, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the Non-Aligned Movement, have reaffirmed support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan." According to the document, "the resolution of the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict will bring relief to the hundreds of thousands of Azerbaijani refugees who have been displaced because of this conflict."
Given the afore-mentioned, the legislators express support for "the reinvigoration of United States efforts aimed at a swift and just political settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict."
Speaking of Azerbaijan's development since independence, the document also notes that over the past decades, "Azerbaijan has succeeded in rebuilding its economy, tripling its gross domestic product (GDP) and becoming a rapidly developing member of the global economy." "Accounting for 80% of the GDP of the South Caucasus region, the Republic of Azerbaijan is the United States' biggest trade partner in the South Caucasus," so the resolution. Calling Azerbaijan "a strategic partner of the U.S. in the strategically important South Caucasus region," the resolution stresses that "over the past twenty years, the U.S. and Azerbaijan expanded their partnership and developed multifaceted cooperation on issues ranging from energy security, to the fight against international terrorism, to efforts against drug and human trafficking, to nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction."
The resolution further says that "Azerbaijan initiated a number of strategically important trans-regional energy and transportation projects like the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline, the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzerum gas pipeline and the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway, which contribute to the prosperity of both Azerbaijan and some of our regional allies, including Turkey and Georgia."
It is noteworthy that this is the second resolution on Azerbaijan by the Arizona State Legislature. The first resolution was adopted in May 2013 and covered the strategic partnership between the U.S. and Azerbaijan.
The Senate and House resolutions can be viewed here: