Member of the Board of Directors of USAN: “White House has been responding to all petitions”

Member of the Board of Directors of USAN: “White House has been responding to all petitions”
# 23 February 2013 09:20 (UTC +04:00)

Washington. N. Kazimova – APA. APA Washington correspondent’s interview with Adil Bagirov, co-founder and member of the Board of Directors of the U.S. Azeris Network (USAN)

- The site is collecting petitions under the "We the people" slogan. Who can sign these?

The White House website makes clear that petitions are open to all Americans, whether citizen, permanent or temporary residents, or refugees. Moreover, Americans don't live only in U.S. - there are hundreds of thousands of Americans who are abroad at all times, whether due to work, school, travel, or dual citizenship (and all of this applies to Azerbaijani-Americans).

There are probably some foreigners also participating in the campaigns and petitions, which is understandable, as due to globalization and other factors, it is impossible to contain something within one's borders, especially if the petition's subject deals with foreign policy or a global issue, such as human rights, war crimes, crimes against humanity (and Khojaly commemoration is both, for example).

USA is a beacon of democracy and puts promotion of human rights at the top of its foreign policy agenda. What can be more human rights and democracy related than commemoration of Khojaly, an unpunished war crime that was the largest at the time?

- Can you cite any examples when a similar petition would achieve the desired result?

- There are exactly 99 responses to petitions on the White House website.

Included there are several responses to petitions dealing with foreign policy matters.

Whether the responses by the Obama Administration satisfy the petitions' organizers is another thing, but clearly, the White House has been responding to all petitions that abide by the rules and got the required number of signatures. Which is another thing I should note: at first, in 2011, the number of signatures required was only 5,000. Then in 2012 it was increased to 25,000. And on January 13, 2013 it was further increased to 100,000. So our Khojaly petition was had to do much more in order to succeed than 99 successful petitions before it.

We are pleased to state that our petition got over 125,000 signatures, and has become the second largest petition of all time.

- What can we realistically expect as an outcome of collecting the record number of signatures?

- We already achieved multiple things, among which showing unity and rising power and activeness of the Azerbaijani-Americans. Also, we once again brought Khojaly Massacre commemoration to the forefront of world's attention, and it resulted in more media coverage and more resolutions adopted that at any time in the past. Finally, we will receive some kind of a modestly-worded statement from the Obama Administration commemorating it, which in itself is also a bonus on top of all the before mentioned achievements.

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