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Unconstitutional California Bill Contradicts US Foreign Policy

LOS ANGELES, May 2, 2014 /Sacramento Bee, Reuters, Yahoo/ - Press Release by Azerbaijani-American Council - The ongoing crisis in Ukraine and the illegal annexation of Crimea by Russia revealed the latter's effective use of ethnic separatism to keep its neighborhood away from the West.

Indeed, the post-Soviet separatist conflicts in Nagorno-Karabakh, South Ossetia, Abkhazia, Transdniester, and Crimea hindered progress of the nations of Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine, and Armenia. While the first four lost control of significant parts of their territories, the fifth lost independence over its territorial ambition. Last year, Armenia was forced to scrap the EU neighborhood agreement to join Putin's neo-Soviet Eurasian Union. In March 2014, along with North Korea and Syria, Armenia opposed a UN General Assembly resolution affirming Ukraine's territorial integrity. Additionally, Armenian President's support for the illegal Russian incursion forced Ukraine to recall its ambassador from Armenia.

Despite the U.S. Administration's principled opposition to redrawing of borders by force, some state politicians believe otherwise. The California Assembly Joint Resolution 32 authored by Democratic Assemblymember Mike Gatto in collaboration with the Armenian-American lobby reflects the Russian view of the world order. AJR 32 calls for California's recognition of the separatist "Nagorno-Karabakh Republic", or "NKR", as a sovereign state.

In 1991-94, the Armenian forces, supported and equipped by Russia, invaded and occupied one-fifth of Azerbaijan including Nagorno-Karabakh. Nearly 30,000 were killed and over a million, overwhelming majority of them Azerbaijanis, were expelled from their homes. In 1993, four UN Security Council resolutions demanded an unconditional withdrawal of Armenian forces, allowing the return of nearly 800,000 Azerbaijani refugees. The peace process mediated by the United States, Russia and France has stalled because of Armenia's attempts to legitimize the military occupation and ethnic cleansing. For this purpose, Armenian authorities forged "NKR", a monoethnic client regime on the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, which neither the U.S. nor any other country recognize.

It is unclear whether Mr. Gatto is aware of the Establishment [Supremacy - ed.] Clause of the U.S. Constitution, which prohibits states from pursuing a foreign policy in violation of federal government's jurisdiction. Not to mention that AJR 32 will not improve the lives of California taxpayers. But we are hopeful that common sense will prevail in the Rules Committee of the State Assembly, due to discuss the bill on Monday, and that its sponsors will opt for meaningful ways of pursuing foreign conflict settlement.