PICO RIVERA, CA – On April 22, 2014, the Pico Rivera City Council unanimously passed a resolution honoring the Republic of Artsakh (Nagorno Karabagh) and its citizens, announcing the town of Karvachar, Artsakh and the City of Pico Rivera as “Friendship Cities”, reported the Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region (ANCA-WR). The resolution goes on to recognize the sacrifices, dedication and resolve shown by the residents of Karvachar and the Republic of Artsakh in the face of extreme adversity.
“We stand proud with the City of Pico Rivera for the unanimous passage of this critical resolution spotlighting the shared values with the people of Karvajar and thank the councilmembers and the community organizations who worked hard to bring it to fruition,” stated ANCA WR Executive Director, Elen Asatryan. “We are confident that this will be the beginning of a long, prosperous partnership between the two cities and look forward to working with them in fostering that relationship for years to come,” added Asatryan.
Prior to the unanimous vote, representatives of the Armenian community comprised of the ANCA San Gabriel Valley, the Armenian Cultural Foundation and Armenian Mesrobian School, addressed the City Council thanking the City of Pico Rivera for the many years of support, hospitality, and service to the Armenian community and more
particularly to the Armenian Mesrobian School, the first Armenian elementary school established in the United States. The community spokespeople went on to present the historical importance of the town of Karvachar and its contribution to the development of Christianity in that area of the world. Montebello Councilmember Jack Hadjian joined the community organizations and also spoke in support of the resolution.
One after another, community members educated the crowd as they shared how during the brutal era of the Soviet Union, under the dictatorship of Josef Stalin, Artsakh was dismembered from its homeland of Armenia and transferred to the Soviet Socialist Republic of Azerbaijan without any regard for the fact that the region had been an integral part of Armenia for thousands of years and that over 80% of the population of the area was inhabited by Armenians.
The speakers also spoke about the suffering and tragedies of the Armenian people under Azerbaijani dictatorial rule. The oppressive policies of the Azarbaijani rulers culminated in the targeted massacres of Armenians in Sumgait, Kirovabad and Bakue from 1988-1990, the displacement of over 300,000 Armenians living in Azerbaijan and the declaration of war against the people of Armenia and Artsakh. The people of Artsakh having no other choice defended their homeland in the face of incredible odds requiring the selfless sacrifice of volunteer soldiers and their families.
After the vote, all councilmembers echoed how proud they were to have passed this long overdue resolution, which they saw as a continuation of the strong partnership the city shares with the Armenian community.
This year the town of Karvachar marks the 21st anniversary of its liberation. Karvachar is a key strategic point for the Republic of Artsakh because it provides a strong link between Armenia and the Artsakh Republic. Its liberation was vitally important because it secures the Northern and the Northeastern borders of Armenia and Artsakh.
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.
Click here for the full text of the resolution.