Fresno continued to show support for Armenia on Monday as the fighting with Azerbaijan over the Artsakh region continued into a third week.
The Fresno City Council unanimously approved a resolution condemning Azerbaijan and Turkey for the attacks on the Artsakh region, also known as Nagorno-Karabakh.
“The City of Fresno hereby condemns the atrocious and cowardly acts of violence by Turkey and Azerbaijan against the Armenians of Armenia and Artsakh; and the City of Fresno supports an immediate cease fire; and the City of Fresno supports the recognition of Artsakh as a free and independent country,” the resolution reads.
Before the vote, Berj Apkarian – the Fresno Honorary Consul for the Republic of Armenia – spoke to the council and thanked them for supporting Armenia.
“I want to congratulate you,” Apkarian told the council. “This is unprecedented. It takes you leadership Mr. President and the distinguished members to rise to this special occasion in solidarity next to the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Artsakh, defending what is right.”
Apkarian spoke about how the fighting continued even after the two countries signed a cease-fire agreement in Moscow on Saturday.
“Within five minutes of that signature, before the ink was even dry, shelling continued,” Apkarian said. “Shelling continues right now, not on the battleground, but in civilian towns where innocent people are dying for no reason, for no cause.”
Last week, Fresno City Council President Miguel Arias and Mayor Lee Brand led a flag raising ceremony and a moment of silence for the victims of the conflict. Apkarian and several Armenian clergy members joined the city officials for the ceremony.
On Monday, Arias thanked Apkarian for his help organizing the ceremony and offered his support for Armenia after the council passed the resolution.
“This council unanimously, and this mayor, stands with the community of Armenia, and we hope for peace,” Arias said. “And if not, we’ll continue to fight for it with you.”