Karabakh Independence Anniversary Marked

STEPANAKERT (Armenpress–Noyan Tapan)–The seventh anniversary of the independence of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic was marked Tuesday in Stepanakert during a joint session of the cabinet and the Karabakh National Assembly.

Participating in the celebration were Nagorno-Karabakh Republic President Arkady Ghoukassian–prime minister Jirair Poghossian–National Assembly Speaker Oleg Yessayan–Artsakh Primate Bishop Barkev Mardirossian and others. Also present was Armenia’s prime minister Armen Darbinian who is heading a delegation to Karabakh.

"We can proudly say that the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic has a seven-year history–each of which has had its share of losses–victories and difficulties for us all," said Ghoukassian in his address during the celebration.

"The national liberation struggle of Artsakh became a strong catalyst in the reawakening process for the entire Armenian nation," stated Ghoukassian adding that in an effort to garner a peaceful resolution to the conflict "equal attention must be paid to the strengthening of the country’s self-defense–internal stability and the improving of the socio-economic conditions of Karabakh."

Also speaking at the ceremony was Bishop Mardirossian who urged all to transcend the difficult socio-economic conditions in Karabakh and "by bringing together Diaspora-Armenia-Karabakh we can overcome all obstacles."

In an announcement to the people of Karabakh on the occasion of the seventh anniversary of independence–Ghoukassian said that lessons had been learned through a retrospective look at the events of the past seven years.

Ghoukassian added that the peace talks–under the auspices of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s Minsk Group–were continuing–while the government has been doing its utmost to ensure a stronger Karabakh state through housing construction–social services and the strengthening of the military.

He also added that improving democratic principles and reinvigorating of the socio-political life in Karabakh has greatly contributed to Karabakh’s successes.

The Armenian Revolutionary Federation Executive Council of Armenia also issued an announcement–primarily congratulating the Armenian nation on the seventh anniversary of Karabakh’s independence.

"Due to political continuity–the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic became a part of the peace process–through which it not only took on the responsibility to resolve the conflict–but also gained the right to influence the talks," read the ARF statement.

"Each anniversary embodies the message of the political decision to declare independence in Karabakh on September 2–1991–as a strategic precursor for the resolution of our national cause," emphasized the statement.

The ARF pointed to government structures of Karabakh for ripening conditions for a resolution–not only to the Karabakh question–but rather the Armenian national cause.

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