YEREVAN (Armenpress)–Armenia and Karabakh marked the 10th anniversary of the victorious battles that led to the liberation of the Shoushi ten years ago on May 9–becoming a turning point in the self-defense war in Nagorno-Karabakh
The Shoushi victory neutralized all Azeri forces from the mountainous city–which was being used by Azeri to constantly bomb Stepanakert and other areas in Karabakh.
On Wednesday–Nagorno-Karabakh Republic president Arkady Ghoukassian attended a special requiem Mass at the St. Ghazanchetsots church perched atop the highest point in Shoushi–officially opening day-long celebrations in the republic.
Meanwhile–Armenian President Robert Kocharian also addressed the nation on the occasion of Victory Day and the 10th anniversary of the liberation of Shoushi:
"Dear compatriots–I congratulate you on the occasion of the Victory and Peace Day. The victory in May–1945–gave our people a historic opportunity to return to peaceful and creative work and to build up the country.
"It was a victorious peace–and hundreds of thousands of Armenia’s contributed to it notably. They kept the honor of Armenian soldier high in the war that became known as the Great Patriotic War.
"With the liberation of Shoushi in 1992–May 9 received a second meaning–when the worthy heirs of their glorious fathers proved once and for all that they would no longer tolerate violation of the Armenian people’s national rights and human liberties.
"I congratulate you all–and particularly the veterans–on the occasion of this great holiday–and wish you excellent health–good festive mood and peaceful skies."
The Catholicos of All Armenia’s Karekin II addressed a message to Nagorno Karabakh President Arkady Ghoukassian blessing and congratulating the president and the entire people of Artsakh on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the liberation of Shoushi.
The message says that the heroic battle of Shoushi became a turning-point in the war for the liberation of Artsakh.
"Together with our people scattered all over the world–we are marking the 10th anniversary of the liberation of Shoushi with special joy–remembering our glorious warriors who sacrificed their lives in the name of their Motherland in our prayers. We are glad that the people of Artsakh–who won their freedom–mark the 10th anniversary of Shoushi’s liberation with successes in building up a new life and with confidence and faith in the future."
Armenia’s Parliament Speaker Armen Khachatrian gave a congratulatory message–which says:
"I congratulate Armenian people on the Victory day and Shoushi liberation. I express gratitude to veterans–soldiers of our powerful army–who provided our victory and liberated the ancient Shoushi."