Independence Celebrations in Mountainous Karabagh Republic

STEPANAKERT (Combined Sources)–The Mountainous Karabagh Republic (MKR)–on Thursday–celebrated the 13th anniversary of its independence with a series of festive events in the capital of Stepanakert and around the regions of the republic.

Celebrations began in the morning with MKR Defense Army servicemen marching along the streets of Stepanakert.

At noon–MKR President Arkady Ghukasian–Armenia’s defense minister Serge Sargsian–MKR National Assembly president Oleg Yessayan–and other government and public officials–joined guests from Armenia and Russia–to honor Arthur Mkrtchian–the president of MKR’s first National Assembly who was murdered in April 1992–only three months after assuming his post. The dignitaries placed flowers at the former president’s grave and observed a moment of silence.

In his address–Serge Sargsian said–"The time will come when the longing of generations–who began struggling for these noble ideals long before we–ready to risk their lives for their nations." Sargsian added that the time will soon arrive to celebrate MKR’s unification with Armenia.

In its congratulatory message to the MKR–the Supreme Body of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation pf Armenia’stated that declaring independence in one of the occupied territories of our homeland was not only the right historical decision–but–as the past 13 years have proven–has made it possible to organize for self-defense–and advance economically and politically. "MKR today is a stably developing sovereign state and attracts the unfading attention of the political world. We are confident that development of state institutions and democratic values will finally make the international community comprehend the right of our MKR compatriots to live independently in the homeland of their forefathers."

MKR declared independence from Azerbaijan on September 2–1991. The declaration of independence was confirmed by a nationwide referendum on December 10–1991.

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