15th Anniversary of Armenian Armed Forces Marked

YEREVAN (Yerkir)–On the occasion of 15th anniversary of the Armenian Armed Forces President Robert Kocharian awarded a number of Armenian servicemen with military ran’s, as well as governmental medals and orders. Speaking on a special ceremony, Kocharian underlined that the 15th anniversary of the Armenian Army was a national celebration. "It is a personal celebration for me, as well as for everyone of you. We have met with many of you in a rather different circumstances and under different conditions," said Kocharian. "Those were cruel years, but also heroic ones for our nation and the history of our country. We recall those years and the victories with pride, which was reached by joint efforts," stated the president, adding that such an army should be the pride for every Armenian. Kocharian stressed that the establishing process of the Armenian statehood began with the formation of the Armenian Army. He remarked that the stable development of the country directly depended on the strength of its army, its efficiency, and foremost the physical fitness of its soldiers. Kocharian, also issued a statement to the entire country. Below is the translated text of the statement: "Dear Compatriots: I congratulate you on the occasion of Army Day. Fifteen years ago on this day the armed forces of the Republic of Armenia were created. Thus, was created one of the most important structures of our state. "The establishment of our army was made possible through the efforts and dedication of all segmen’s of the Armenian nation. During the harsh war in Artsakh and on the borders of Armenia, the Armenian fighters presented shining examples of combat valor. Heroic deeds of each of our fallen heroes and the fifteen-year history of our Army are the lessons of patriotism for our coming generation. "The Armenian Army is rightfully viewed as a victorious and liberating army. Our whole nation trusts and believes in our Army, strangers have to reckon with it. "Through the years the armed forces of Armenia have constantly been reinforced, improved and upgraded. Today they are the main guarantor of our peaceful life and an important factor of the security and stability in our region," concluded the statement. Kocharian was joined by Parliament Speaker Tigran Torosyan, Prime Minister Andranik Margaryan, Defense Minister Serzh Sargsyan, Nagorno-Karabakh Republic President Arkady Ghokassian, Karabakh’s Defense Minister Seyran Ohanyan, Armenian Prosecutor General, the Armenian Police Chief, the head of National Security Service and other high ranking officials, to visit the Yerablur national cemetery to pay tribute to the Karabakh liberation effort martyrs. "Every time we come here and pay tribute to those who went to protect the fatherland on those fatal days. I am sure that if a necessity occurs to perish life for the sake of the fatherland, our guys will fight and protect our country," stated Serzh Sargsyan, adding that Armenian recruits are ready to perish their lives for the fatherland. Serzh Sargsyan also stressed that the peculiarity of the Armenian Army is the fact that a lot of officers have war experience. "The army was formed with joint efforts of the Armenian nation during military activities, and if we look at it from a tactical point of view, rather mobile troops were formed," said Nagorno-Karabakh defense minister Ohanyan, who added that the unity and responsibility of the Armenian nation allowed the country to increase the efficiency of the Armenian Army in a short period of time, and after the cease-fire, to restore the losses and strenghthen the armed forces. "The achievement of those 15 years is not only the fact that we could win, but also the fact that during a very short period of time we could reach the current level we have in the army, which can compete with other countries in the region with its efficiency and is in regarded as one of the strongest armies in the world," continued Seyranian.

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