The Republic of Artsakh is a republic with limited recognition in the South Caucasus region. The Republic of Artsakh controls most of the territory of the former Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast (before the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war, it also controlled some of the surrounding area). It is recognized by only three other non-UN member states, Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Transnistria. The rest of the international community recognizes Artsakh as part of Azerbaijan. In November 2012, a member of Uruguay's foreign relations committee stated that his country could recognize Nagorno-Karabakh's independence. In 2012, Armenia and Tuvalu established diplomatic relations and it was expected that Tuvalu may recognize Artsakh's independence. In October 2012, the Australian state of New South Wales recognized Nagorno-Karabakh. In September 2014, the Basque Parliament in Spain adopted a motion supporting Artsakh's right to self-determination and in November 2014, the Parliament of Navarre, also in Spain, issued a statement supporting Artsakh's inclusion in taking part in settlement negotiations.
At the present, no diplomatic missions of other countries exist in Artsakh. On the other hand, the republic has built a small network of representative offices around the world. Currently it has representative offices in seven countries.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
The Artsakh Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Stepanakert
Foreign policy of the state is governed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Republic of Artsakh. The Ministry is based in the capital city of Stepanakert. Currently, the Minister is David Babayan.
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The Republic of Artsakh and the partially recognized Republic of Abkhazia recognize each other. Both states abolished visa requirements for their citizens and participate in the Community for Democracy and Rights of Nations.
In 2012, the Parliament of New South Wales called upon the Australian government to recognize Artsakh. Artsakh maintains a Representative Office in Sydney, Australia.
Artsakh has very close relations with Armenia. It functions as a de facto part of Armenia. A representative office of Nagorno-Karabakh was established in Yerevan.
The Republic of Artsakh maintains three representative offices in Europe, including Berlin, Paris, and Moscow.
The Republic of Artsakh maintains a Representative office in Lebanon's capital, Beirut. In March 2018, Artsakh president Bako Sahakyan visited Lebanon and met with Catholicos Aram I, the head of the Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia of the Armenian Apostolic Church. In May 2018, representatives of the Artsakh city of Martakert and the Lebanese town of Bourj Hammoud signed a Memorandum of Cooperation in the latter town.
The Republic of Artsakh and partially recognized Republic of South Ossetia recognize each other. Both states abolished visa requirements for their citizens and participate in the Community for Democracy and Rights of Nations.
Republic of Artsakh and Transnistria recognized each other and abolished visa requirements for their citizens. There are many joint activities between the two countries. In 2001, both countries in Stepanakert signed the Protocol on Cooperation and Consultations between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Transnistria and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Artsakh. Transnistria also participates in the Community for Democracy and Rights of Nations.
The United States has not established diplomatic relations with the Republic of Artsakh and recognizes it as part of Azerbaijan. Support for Artsakh in the United States is manifested above all at the state legislature level. Several of them have adopted Artsakh support resolutions. In May 2012, the Rhode Island House of Representatives in the United States passed a resolution calling on President Barack Obama and the U.S. Congress to recognize the Republic of Artsakh. In August 2012, the Massachusetts House of Representatives passed a similar resolution. In April 2013, the Maine House of Representatives and Senate passed a resolution accepting Artsakh's independence and urging President Barack Obama to also accept Artsakh's independence. In May 2013, the Louisiana State Senate passed a resolution accepting Artsakh's independence and expressed support for the Republic of Artsakh's efforts to develop as a free and independent nation. In May 2014, the California State Assembly passed a measure recognizing Artsakh's independence with a 70–1 vote. The measure also called for President Barack Obama and the U.S. Congress to recognize the Republic of Artsakh. The US state of Hawaii unanimously voted to approve and recognize the Republic of Artsakh on March 30, 2016. The Republic of Artsakh has also established a representative office in Washington, D.C.
In addition, Artsakh government officials regularly maintain contact with members of the United States Congress. In October 2019, the Foreign Minister of Artsakh noted that the authorities of the Republic attach great importance to the relations between Artsakh and the United States at various levels. The Minister also stated his appreciation of the United States for financial aid and support for the peaceful resolution of the conflict; and hoped for further developing cooperation during a meeting with US Congress members.
Independence recognition efforts
Non-UN member states
U.S. states' recognition of Artsakh
In October 2012, the Australian state of New South Wales recognized Nagorno-Karabakh however it was reaffirmed by the Australian Foreign Minister in November 2015 that the federal government of the Commonwealth of Australia does not, and supports Azerbaijan's claim to the state. In 2017, The Australian Greens Party announced that it recognizes the Republic of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh). In October 2020, the New South Wales Legislative Assembly recognized the independence of the Republic of Artsakh, 61 for and 2 against. The motion also condemned the attacks by Azerbaijan and Turkey against the indigenous Armenians of Artsakh during the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
In September 2014, the Basque parliament adopted a motion supporting Nagorno-Karabakh's right to self-determination. In the Philippines, various politicians are in favor of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) recognition and have suggested for the cooperation of ASEAN (which includes ten Southeast Asian nations) in the recognition of the country, however, the current administration has yet to prioritize the issue due to an ongoing drug war and a shift to federalism.
Before California recognized Nagorno-Karabakh in May 2014, three places within the state had already recognized it:
In addition, Highland is twinned with Berdzor and Montebello is twinned with Stepanakert.
In November 2019, the French Communist Party urged the French Government to recognize the independence of Artsakh. On 25 November 2020, the French Senate adopted a resolution to recognize the independence of Artsakh.
On 15 October 2020, the Italian city of Milan became the first ever large European city to recognize the Republic of Artsakh. On 3 November 2020, the city of Palermo, as well as Asolo, Cerchiara di Calabria, and the Italian region of Lombardy followed.
On 24 October 2020, Nadia de León, the President of the Central American Parliament announced her support for the right of self-determination of Artsakh.
On 5 November 2020, the city of Laval in Quebec recognized the independence of Artsakh.
On 13 November 2020, the legislature of Uruguay's Montevideo Department unanimously recognized the independence of the Republic of Artsakh.
- On 26 February 2013, a parliamentary friendship group was established between the Republic of Artsakh and the Parliament of Lithuania.
- On 19 March 2013, a parliamentary friendship group was established with parliament members and senators of France.
- In October 2014, a parliamentary friendship group was established between Artsakh and the European Parliament.
- In October 2017, parliamentary friendship groups were established with both the Parliament of Wallonia and Flemish Parliament in Belgium.
- On 19 March 2019, an Artsakh-Canada Friendship Group was established between the National Assembly of Artsakh and the House of Commons of Canada.
- On 1 August 2019, an Artsakh-Australia Friendship Group was established between Artsakh and various Australian politicians including Federal Parliament Senators and Ministers, as well as the Premier of the State of New South Wales.
- On 8 December 2019, Artsakh National Assembly Speaker Ashot Ghulyan received First Vice President of Guatemala’s Congress, Felipe Alejos Lorenzana. The sides discussed establishing inter-parliamentary ties.
- In June 2020, a parliamentary friendship group was established between the Republic of Artsakh and members of the Parliament of Cyprus.
International organisation participation
- The Republic of Artsakh is a member of one international organization, the Community for Democracy and Human Rights, also commonly known as the Commonwealth of Unrecognized States.
- The Republic of Artsakh also maintains contacts with the OSCE Minsk Group established in 1992 by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe to encourage a peaceful, negotiated resolution to the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia over Artsakh.
- In October 2017, the President of Artsakh, Bako Sahakyan visited the European Friends of Armenia (EuFoA) headquarters in Belgium. A number of issues were discussed including relations between Artsakh and the EU. The President thanked EuFoA for reinforcing ties between Artsakh and various pan-European structures.
- In March 2019, the Speaker of the National Assembly (Artsakh), Ashot Ghulian met with European Parliament members in Brussels, during which he explored opportunities to include Artsakh in European Union programs. The Speaker also highlighted the necessity to maintain and promote cooperation between the two sides.
- Artsakh officials also have regular contact with the Council of Europe. In October 2019, the Human Rights Defender of the Republic of Artsakh, Artak Beglaryan, held a number of meetings with high-ranking officials of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg. Possible areas of cooperation between Artsakh and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe as well as the need to ensure international engagement of unrecognized states was discussed.
In addition to the above, Artsakh is also a signatory to several international conventions and treaties, including:
Participation in international sports federations
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