|Source:||The Washington Times|
|Author:||By Vardan Barseghian, Nagorno Karabakh Republic Representative in the USA|
Thank you for your coverage of Nagorno-Karabakh ("Breakaway state still struggling for recognition," World, Sept. 30
Since the 1994 cease-fire agreement with Azerbaijan, the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR) has emerged as a free, democratic and well-governed state with an open economy and constructive engagement with the international community.
U.S. humanitarian assistance has helped NKR restore war-torn homes, drinking-water mains and primary health care facilities. We thank the American people for this ongoing, critical support.
Nevertheless, additional assistance is needed to help complete Karabakh's transition to a free-market economy and also ensure sustained economic development. We hope the United States will again take the lead in opening the way for development aid to Nagorno-Karabakh.
As the article shows, there is a welcome sense of normalcy for people of Karabakh who want to live in peace with their neighbors and go about their daily lives.
However, a threat of a new military attack by Azerbaijan cannot be ignored. Azeri leaders buoyed by booming oil revenues do not hide their plans to initiate a new war if NKR continues to insist on its independence.
While NKR has been improving its defense capabilities, my government also has called upon the international community to keep Azerbaijan's war plans in check.
Given the military buildup on both sides of the line of contact, a new war would have disastrous consequences for Azerbaijan and Nagorno-Karabakh, with possible spillover beyond the region.
Significantly, a formal recognition of Nagorno-Karabakh's independence by the United States would only advance the cause of freedom and democracy. It also would help cool Azerbaijan's revanchist appetites and ensure greater stability in a strategic region.
Representative Nagorno Karabakh Republic
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