World Leaders Congratulate Armenian Independence

YEREVAN (Armenpress)–The presidents of the United States–Russia and France have sent congratulations to their Armenian counterpart–Robert Kocharian–on the ninth anniversary of Armenia’s independence referendum–calling for closer ties between their respective countries–official sources said on Wednesday.

The official holiday known as Independence Day will be celebrated in Armenia on Thursday.

President Bill Clinton sent a congratulatory message to Armenian president Robert Kocharian on the occasion of Armenia’s national holiday–Day of Independence–marked on September 21.

The message reads as follows:

"On behalf of the people of the USA I send my warmest congratulations to You and the people of Armenia on the occasion of the 9th anniversary of proclamation Armenia’s independence.

I expect that the relations between our two nations will strengthen. The US government promises its support to Your efforts aimed at establishment of democracy–peace and prosperity in the Caucasus. Let’s work together to reach these honest goals next year."

The message sent by the president of France Jacques Chirac reads as follows:

"I extend my warmest congratulations to You on the occasion of Armenia’s national holiday- the Day of Independence. I wish that centuries-long friendly ties–uniting our countries–strengthen more in the future. You know that besides inter-government relations–how deep the friendship and love between Armenia’s and the French are.

Seizing this opportunity–I would like to re-confirm my pleasure in meeting You in Paris last June and several days ago in New York at the UN Millennium Summit. I would also like to express in advance my satisfaction with a state visit to be made by You next year to Paris–which will mark a new phase in bringing closer the existing relations between our two countries.

Please accept my best and friendly wishes."

Russia’s president Vladimir Putin also sent a congratulatory message to his Armenian counterpart on the occasion of Armenia’s Independence Day.

The message reads as follows:

"Please accept my congratulations on the occasion of Armenia’s National Holiday – the Day of Independence. Armenia has been and is a loyal friend and ally of Russia. The basis of this friendship is a many-centuries brotherhood between our peoples who have gone through serious ordeals side by side.

I am confident that the deepening of Russian-Armenian strategic partnership will promote further expansion of diverse and mutually beneficial cooperation between our countries–stabilization of the situation and strengthening of confidence in the Caucasus.

I believe that Your first official visit to Russia will raise the bilateral relations to a new–qualitatively higher level. I wish You and in Your person to friendly Armenian people peace–happiness and prosperity."

Also offering his congratulatory message was His Holiness Karekin II–Catholicos of All Armenia’s.

"We congratulate our faithful Armenian people in Armenia and in the Diaspora on the occasion of Day of Independence of Armenia," said the Catholicos in his message.

"Proclamation of independent statehood is the most important event in the life of all peoples–as it announces the people’s will and confirms its undeniable right to live freely. Freedom is a divine grace–God-granted gift–obtaining which only peoples and nations express and manifest themselves in all their capacity and create entirely," continued the Catholicos.

"We have achieved our present-day liberty and independence with great difficulties. We are decisive to defend our Motherland courageously and with a sense of responsibility–to protect and to strengthen it with love of unity. Let the sacred idea of Independence Day rise in our souls to face all challenges and–as a renovated vow–to combine the past–the present and the future," added Karekin II.

"Beloved Armenian people–we believe that forever waving of our tricoloured flag in the sky will warm our hearts and unite us in all four parts of the world. We believe in our people’s ingenious soul–creative mind and arm. Trusting in God–we believe in the bright future of Armenia’s," affirmed the Catholicos.

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