The California State Senate has this week adopted a resolution officially recognising the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic’s claim for independence.
Lawmakers also called upon the American Senate and President Barrack Obama to join California in recognising the disputed region.
The decision to recognise the republic however holds no political significance for the region and is merely a symbolic gesture. Karabakh still remains unrecognised by any UN states and is still under international law technically Azerbaijan’s territory.
Many Armenians view the decision as a step towards international recognition and an indicator of the political will to support Karabakh and news of the Senate’s decision was well received by Armenian officials.
“We welcome the decision of the California Senate to recognize the independence of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic,” said Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian in a recent statement.
Azerbaijan’s authorities were quick to condemn the news however, Azerbaijan’s Consulate General in Los Angeles described the resolution as “racist” and “anti-Azerbaijani” in a statement written in response to the decision.
The Senate was also accused of political corruption by some critics, who claim that the Armenian diaspora population of California had a heavy influence on this resolution. California has one of the largest communities of diaspora Armenians and is also the home of many of the diaspora’s richest individuals, who have been known in the past to support causes related to Nagorno-Karabakh’s fight for independence.