STEPANAKERT (ArmRadio)—Armenians Saturday marked the 22nd anniversary of the beginning of the Nagorno-Karabakh liberation movement, when the parliament of the then Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast voted to reunify with Armenia after nearly seven decades of Soviet Azeri rule.
The monumental day, which sparked the Karabakh liberation struggle, is officially marked in the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic as National Revival Day.
Karabakh President Bako Sahakian commemorated the day with a speech in the Nagorno-Karabakh National Assembly. We present his speech in its entirety below.
I am glad to welcome all of you and congratulate all our compatriots on Artsakh Revival Day. Each of you carries the very symbol of this day and has made a personal contribution to the realization of the ideas of the national liberation movement. Many of our friends laid down their lives to ensure the victory of these ideas. Eternal glory and honor to them.
20 February of 1988 became the starting point of our national revival. We stood to defend our natural right for free and independent life on our native land, for mastering our own destiny independently and in correspondence with international norms and principles.
Azerbaijan reacted to our peaceful and just demand with cruel and bloody war, which caused heavy human sacrifices and devastations.
The heroic people of Artsakh together with the world-wide Armenian Diaspora managed to withstand all the ordeals and chose the path of building a democratic state. For us this way has been irreversible and final.
We are very much confident that every problem the contemporary world faces can be solved exclusively in civilized manner, around the negotiation table, through direct dialogue. In contrast, the authorities of Azerbaijan continue to wage a militaristic policy of keeping their own people in a permanent state of war. These threats are vain and inappropriate. We have a regular and efficient army that is ready to give a fitting rebuff to any encroachment upon the security of our state and people.
The NKR National Assembly of all convocations has played a great role in building an independent statehood, forming state institutions and consolidating democratic values. Soon there will be new regular elections of the NKR National Assembly. For our people it is a political event of utmost importance. And we should do everything possible for these elections as always to be carried out in correspondence with international standards and take us a step forward оn the way of building a firm and prosperous future of Artsakh.
We have been through a lot and perhaps our history will prove it. In addition, we have launched a creative and complex initiative – the establishment of a state, revival of Karabakh and statehood of Artsakh. Meanwhile, we had to restore government agencies, establish Parliament, army and in parallel defend our right at war, said former head of NKR Supreme Council, incumbent FM Georgy Petrosyan at the NKR Parliament solemn meeting devoted to Artsakh Renaissance day and 22nd anniversary of Karabakh movement.
“In current satiation NKR MP’s of all convocations do and will bear responsibility for continuation of this creative process. The most MP’s can do as the people’s representatives is discuss steps to be taken under these circumstances and thereafter. We will take the full responsibility towards the history. And I hope we will not back the wrong horse once again for any reason – internal or external. I reckon that to date all was done duly. Many critical and complex issues were addressed, at that current challenges are less difficult than previous ones. We have to be ready to face any trial, and self-sacrifices if needed so that the creative life will be continued by our children as well,” Petrosyan concluded.