Stepanakert (RFE/RL)–Karabagh Armenia’s marked on Friday–the anniversary of its secession from Azerbaijan–pledging to deepen already close links with Armenia–and ruling out a return to Baku rule.
Meeting for a special session–the parliament of Mountainous Karabagh Republic issued a statement dedicated to a fateful February 1988 decision by the legislative council of what was then an autonomous region in Soviet Azerbaijan.
The legislature urged the Soviet government to reunite the Armenian-populated region with Armenia–marking the beginning of mass demonstrations in Stepanakert and Yerevan in support of the demand. At least 20,000 people were killed and hundreds of thousands of others displaced in the ensued Armenian-Azeri war–which left the Armenian side in control of Karabagh and Azerbaijani districts adjacent to it.
Friday’s statement reaffirms "the people’s resolve to build an independent and democratic state," and urges Armenia’s around the world to "consolidate for the sake of a just and final resolution of the Artsakh issue."
"The reality is that Karabagh–Artsakh–is an integral part of Armenia," senior lawmaker Vahram Atanesian said. "Nothing will ever separate Artsakh from Armenia."
The anniversary is officially marked in Karabagh as a "day of revival."