STEPANAKERT (Combined Sources)—The Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR) celebrates twenty four years of independence today, September 2, 2015. President Bako Sahakyan and President of the Republic of Armenia Serzh Sarkisian partook in commemoration events devoted to Artsakh Republic Day around the region.
Sahakian and Sarkisian visited the Stepanakert Memorial Complex and laid flowers on the tombs of fighters killed in the war for Artsakh. The Presidents then traveled to the city of Shushi to attend the opening of the new building of the Armenian National Agrarian University’s Shushi branch.
Sahakian and Sarkisian also visited the construction site of the new Yeznik Mozian Vocational School in Shushi.
President Sahakian stressed the importance of having such educational institutions both for preparing qualified specialists in various fields and for the development of the city of Shushi.
NKR Vice President Arkady Ghoukasyan, Primate of the Artsakh Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church Archbishop Pargev Martirosyan, NKR National Assembly Chairman Ashot Ghoulyan, Prime Minister Arayik Haroutyunyan, high ranking officials from Artsakh and Armenia, representatives of the Diaspora and foreign guests all participated in Wednesday’s events.
President Bako Sahakian delivered the following message in commemoration of Artsakh Republic Day.
On behalf of the authorities and myself, I cordially congratulate you on the Day of the Artsakh Republic, a holiday of special significance in the life of our nation.
With the birth of the Artsakh Republic on September 2, 1991, the Armenian people had two free and independent states. A vision—cherished for centuries, that faced numerous challenges before reaching the current time—became reality.
It is a common human aspiration to live on one’s own land with the right of mastering [their’] own destiny, that is intrinsic to every nation.
Consolidating and joining our efforts, we defended our national dignity and future in the battlefield, and have been building a [democracy] with unshakable eagerness to become a full member of the international community.
It is a challenging and honorable path which we pass hand in hand with our sisters and brothers from Armenia and the Diaspora. Together we will implement numerous projects and definitely attain the realization of [our] national goals.
I congratulate you once again on this significant public holiday and wish peace and prosperity to your families and our precious and cherished Artsakh Republic.
President Serzh Sarkisian also delivered a message on Artsakh’s 24th independence day, which reads as follows.
I congratulate you on the occasion of the Independence Day of Nagorno-Karabakh.
The Independence Day of Artsakh is a festivity for Armenians all over the world, but first of all it is the festivity for the people from Artsakh. On this very historic day in 1991, due to the declaration of independence, a suffering but at the same time heroic segment of Armenians [were] saved from the clutches of violence and [a] totalitarian regime, national and religious discrimination, persecution and pogroms, lies, falsehood and anti-Armenian racist propaganda. And it was you who did it.
And our struggle was not over with that heroic deed. On the contrary, it entered a new stage [to] fight for the right to live in our own house with dignity, for [our] human and national rights. On the battlefield, the Artskhian defended his and his children’s lives, saved his and his children’s future.
In 2015, [which] marks the 100th anniversary of Meds Yeghern, when we commemorate the canonized martyrs, [an] independent and proud-spirited Artsakh gains deeper significance and value for all of us.
Day-by-day, the number of friends of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and its people is growing. Day-by-day the international reputation of Artsakh, steadily walking along the path of independence and democracy, is growing. It is the result of both your just and creative efforts and your achievements in statehood- and army-building.
Once again I congratulate you on the occasion of this glorious day, recalling the longstanding and wise motto, “Freedom does not have an alternative.”