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Whereas, The Republic of Nagorno Karabakh (Artsakh) is the indigenous homeland of the Armenian people, and has been a center of Armenian cultural, political, and religious life for several millennia; and

 Whereas, despite its historical and cultural ties to Armenia, in 1921, Joseph Stalin arbitrarily severed Artsakh from Armenia, and placed it under the administration of Soviet Azerbaijan in violation of the national, territorial, and human rights of the Armenian people; and

 Whereas, following decades of oppression under Soviet Azerbaijani rule, the Armenians of Artsakh in a popular referendum, voted overwhelmingly in support of exerting their right to self-determination and declared independence from the Soviet Union; and

 Whereas, Azerbaijan responded to these calls for independence by force, plunging the region into a bloody conflict that ended with a ceasefire agreement that secured Nagorno-Karabakh's self-governance; and


Whereas, in defiance of the ceasefire agreement and conflict resolution efforts, Azerbaijan continued to threaten the security and sovereignty of Artsakh in the decades following the war, culminating in an assault on Nagorno-Karabakh in 2020 that saw Azerbaijan perpetrate war crimes against the region's Armenian population, and resulted in Azerbaijan seizing control of 70% of Karabakh's territory; and

 Whereas, The Armenians of Artsakh remain resolute in their efforts to exercise the right to self-determination and live free from violence and repression, and by recognizing the government of Artsakh, the international community can help put to rest this century-old conflict.

 Therefore, I, Representative Ben Toma, Speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives, do hereby recognize and support the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh's right to self-determination, and its continuing efforts to develop as a free and independent nation, in order to guarantee its citizens those rights inherent in a free and independent society; and be it further, I encourage the United States government to strengthen and solidify our country's economic and cultural relationship with the Artsakh Republic and its citizens and continue to promote the humanitarian and economic rehabilitation of the region.