HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 104
(By Delegates Walters, Ambler, Anderson, Arvon, Ashley, Barill, Border, Canterbury, Cowles, Eldridge, Ellem, Evans, D., Ferns, Hamilton, Hamrick, Hunt, Iaquinta, Marcum, McCuskey, Nelson, E., Pasdon, Raines, Shott, Smith, R., Storch, Stowers and Sumner)
Recognizing the many contributions made by citizens of the Republic of Azerbaijan and that it is in the best interest of the State of West Virginia to promote relationships with the Azerbaijani people.
Whereas, February 26, 2013, marks the twenty-first anniversary of the Khojaly Massacre in Azerbaijan and the observance of this somber date inspires reflection by individuals across the globe; and
Whereas, On February 25 and February 26, 1992, Armenian armed forces, accompanied by Russian military troops, occupied the town of Khojaly as part of the bitter warfare that had been taking place in the Nagorno-Karabakh region since 1988; and
Whereas, When a large group of Azerbaijani civilians attempted to evacuate the area, they were fired on by the Armenian and Russian soldiers, resulting in the largest massacre of that bloody conflict; estimates of the exact number of people killed vary from 160 to as many as 1,000, with many women and children among the dead; and
Whereas, The massacre was reported by major news organizations and has been viewed by the Human Rights Watch as a violation of customary law regarding the treatment of civilians in war zones and numerous governments around the world have condemned the attack; and
Whereas, This tragic event is a sobering reminder of the terrible carnage that can be inflicted in wartime and the enduring need for greater understanding, communication and tolerance among people the world over; and
Whereas, The Republic of Azerbaijan and the United States of America are long-standing allies, both dearly cherishing the universal values of freedom, democracy and human rights; and
Whereas, The State of West Virginia and the Republic of Azerbaijan enjoy a strong, vibrant and mutually beneficial economic relationship with the prospect of further growth; and
Whereas, It is the custom of the State of West Virginia to welcome all who come to our state especially those who come in the interest of friendship and commerce; and
Whereas, It is the policy of the West Virginia Legislature to recognize the contributions of our allies and the value of maintaining beneficial relationships with the allies of the State of West Virginia, such as the contributions made by the Republic of Azerbaijan and the value of our positive relationship with this ally; therefore, be it
Resolved by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Legislature of West Virginia recognizes the many contributions made by the citizens of the Republic of Azerbaijan and that it is in the best interest of the State of West Virginia to promote relationships with Azerbaijan; and, be it
Further Resolved, That upon its adoption, a copy of this resolution be sent to the United States Speaker of the House of Representatives, the President of the United States Senate, the Secretary of State of the United States Department of State, the West Virginia Congressional Delegation, and Richard L. Morningstar, the United States Ambassador to the Republic of Azerbaijan.