Hawaii House of Representatives head apologizes to Azerbaijan

Fri 01 Apr 2016 03:24 GMT | 07:24 Local Time

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Joseph M. Souki, head of the Hawaii House of Representatives, apologized to Azerbaijan for the resolution adopted by the House, Azerbaijan’s Consulate General in Los Angeles told APA on Apr.1.

"As speaker of the House of Representatives of the State of Hawaii, I am writing to express my regrets on the handling of House Resolution 167.

"It has always been our policy that House Resolutions that involve foreign affairs be sent to a Committee to receive public input before a decision is made to move the matter forward. The Resolution at issue, however, was presented as a floor presentation, a purely ceremonial event meant to congratulate individuals and organizations, such as award winning teachers, health care workers, charitable organizations, etc. Because of the ceremonial nature of a floor presentation, the intruction of a supporting Resolution is handled much more informally. In this case the Resolution was automatically placed on the Order of the Day upon its introduction the night before. These floor presentation Resolutions are supposed to the limited to non-controversial subjects and pass unanimously for that reason.

"Unfortunately, the controversial nature of the Resolution was not recognized at the time the floor presentation was placed upon the Order of the Day.

"Therefore, I sincerely apologize for the fact that the Resolution did not have a chance to be vetted by our Committee process before action was taken on it and I intend to adjust our internal policies to prevent a similar occurrence.

"The ceremonial nature of the floor presentation was due to a lack of information about the nature of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan. It is my understanding that the United States has made efforts through the years to encourage a complete resolution of the conflict and I sincerely apologize if our ceremonial event (which does not have the effect of law in any way) is construed to express an opinion on the conflict, as there was simply no information gathered by the House sufficient to make an informed opinion. 

"I think I can safely speak on behalf of the members of the House that each member hopes that the strong relations of friendship between Azerbaijan and the United States will continue to grow and strengthen over the years.

"I hope that you can understand the unfortunate circumstances that led us to this point and I sincerely apologize for any unintended offense to your government or the people of Azerbaijan," the letter reads. 

News.Az

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