Los Angeles intersection named 'Republic of Artsakh Square'
LOS ANGELES - The Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously to name a Westside intersection ‘Republic of Artsakh Square’ to raise awareness of Azerbaijan's dictatorship that has imposed a blockade on Artsakh, threatening 120,000 people with starvation and preventing medical are, Council President Paul Krekorian said Wednesday.
On Tuesday, the council voted to approve a motion authored by Krekorian and Councilwoman Traci Park, whose district includes the newly designated Artsakh Square, to name the intersection of Wilshire Boulevard and Granville Avenue in honor of the embattled region that has great meaning for L.A.'s Armenian community.
The intersection is also the location of the Los Angeles consulate of Azerbaijan.
According to the Armenian Assembly of America, since December 12, 2022, Azerbaijani forces have blocked the Lachin Corridor, the only road connecting Armenia and Artsakh. The Lachin Corridor is Artsakh’s lifeline to Armenia and the outside world. Since the blockade, people in Artsakh have had limited food, basic supplies, medical aid, and medicine.
Multiple times during the winter, the Azeri government shut down the pipeline carrying natural gas from Armenia to Artsakh and disrupted the electricity grid, leaving hundreds of thousands in the cold.
"Azerbaijan's dictator has explicitly threatened genocide and called for the expulsion of all Armenians from territories he claims, once again threatening the annihilation of the Armenian people in their ancient homeland," Krekorian said in a statement.
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"This square will stand as a symbol of Artsakh's self-determination and our unequivocal opposition to the Azerbaijani dictatorship's unproved aggression to erase Armenian history and culture," Park said in a statement.
The regime of Azerbaijan President Illham Aliyev is accused of attempting to erase the history of Armenians in their ancestral homeland for the last 25 years, adding that the campaign has intensified since Aliyev's occupation of Artsakh's territory in 2020.
The Republic of Artsakh, formerly known as the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh, seceded from the Soviet Union and formed a democratic state.
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Azerbaijan's Consulate General in Los Angeles has accused Armenia of committing atrocities on its land.
"In the early 1990s, Armenia invaded and ethnically cleansed 20% of Azerbaijan's sovereign territory with impunity. Over 1 million Azerbaijanis were forcibly displaced from their lands (800,000 from occupied districts of Azerbaijan and 250,000 from Armenia)," Consul General Nasimi Aghayev said last year.
Krekorian's motion was seconded by council members Bob Blumenfield, Nithya Raman, Monica Rodriguez, John Lee and Hugo-Soto Martinez.
Under the motion, the City Council directed its Department of Transportation to erect permanent ceremonial signs to identify the intersection of Wilshire Boulevard and Granville as Republic of Artsakh Square.