STEPANAKERT—Festivities to mark the 20th anniversary of the independence of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, Artsakh, kicked off Thursday with an official ceremony led by the country’s President Bako Sahakian and attended by Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian.
The capital was filled with Karabakh residents, who had flocked there from different regions to mark this momentous occasion.
On hand were Karabakh war veterans, servicemen, as well as political, cultural, arts sports and media personalities who were awarded with Karabakh state medals on the occasion of the 20th anniversary.
In a message to the country, Sahakian emphasized the importance of Artsakh’s independence, detailing its historical importance and emphasizing the right to self-determination of the people of Karabakh.
“This is a celebration of the right to live free and safely in one’s own home, to raise children educating them with one’s own culture and religion. Neither the struggle and survival for centuries, nor the tyranny for decades and the persecution of Armenians could break our determination,” said President Sarkisian during his congratulatory remarks.
“The power called Azerbaijani Armed Forces was busy with massacres, destruction, robbery, ethnic cleansing, and annihilation of the peaceful population in front of the international community, said Sarkisian saying that Azeri oppression made people choose “life instead of death in order to celebrate victory today. Nagorno-Karabakh celebrates its 20 years of independence.”