Armenia Celebrates 21st on the 21st

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YEREVAN (Combined Sources) — The Republic of Armenia celebrated its 21st anniversary on September 21.

Many world leaders sent congratulatory messages to President Serge Sargisian, including US President Barack Obama.

Obama in his letter, said, “I extend my warmest wishes to you and the people of Armenia as you celebrate national day on September 21. As Armenia enters its 22nd year of independence, the relationship between our two countries and our peoples is strong and enduring. The United States is firmly committed to supporting Armenia’s continued economic development and democratization, and looks forward to enhancing our close partnership even further in the years to come. … We deeply appreciate Armenia’s contributions to international security efforts in Afghanistan and Kosovo, where brave Armenian soldiers serve with American forces in NATO missions.”

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton issued a similar statement on the occasion. “This is a special occasion to honor the achievements of Armenians and those of Armenian descent,” she said. “In the United States, Armenian-Americans have enriched the fabric of our society, further strengthening the longstanding bonds of friendship between our two countries.”

“I had the opportunity to once again experience the warm hospitality of the Armenian people when I visited Yerevan this past June,” read the statement. “As I said then, America is committed to helping Armenia strengthen its democratic institutions, deepen its economic reforms, and foster a future of peace and prosperity.”

“As you celebrate 21 years of independence, know that the United States stands with Armenia as a partner and friend,” added Clinton.

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During the June trip, Clinton praised the Armenian authorities’ handling of parliamentary elections held in May and their efforts to
improve the domestic business environment. In a further boost to Sargisian, she again endorsed official Yerevan’s view that Turkey should stop linking parliamentary ratification of US-brokered normalization agreements, signed with Armenia in 2009, to a resolution of the (Artsakh) Nagorno-Karabagh conflict.

Sargisian, for his part, reaffirmed his commitment to expanding relations with the United States “in all areas.” He told Clinton that US-Armenian ties have already have “reached the highest point in history.”

Sargisian referred to America as his country’s “traditional and sincere friend” when he met with a visiting U.S. congressman in Yerevan earlier this month.

US Ambassador to Armenia John Heffern congratulated Armenians on Independence Day.

“Armenia Independence Day today. Congratulations on 21 years of independence. fireworks tonite?” he wrote on Twitter.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), a member of the Armenian Caucus, in a statement said, “I rejoice with the dynamic Armenian community that I represent and proudly say Oorakh Angakhootyan Or. Congratulations to the people of Armenia, to Armenians in America and
around the world on this joyous day. The road to independence has not always been easy for this nation, but time has proven that Armenians are survivors — survivors of foreign domination and survivors of the first genocide of the 20th century. And to this day, Armenian-Americans continue to illustrate what a valuable asset they are to our society, breaking new ground economically,
socially and politically in California and across the nation.”

He continued, “Over the years, I have been privileged to work with many individuals in the Armenian community to end our government’s tragic failure to recognize the Armenian genocide, ensure the victims receive just compensation, and secure aid for Armenia and Nagorno Karabagh.

French President François Hollande issued a congratulatory note to his Armenian counterpart.

He said, in part, “I am delighted to send best wishes to you and Armenian people on the occasion of the national holiday. Armenia may
be proud of the road it passed after it gained independence, of the democratic progress and prosperity, whilst strengthening its positions in international arena. I stand ready to continue the mission started 20 years ago, aimed at establishment of French-Armenian relations in all the fields.”

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko congratulated Sargisian, saying, “Belarus gives a high assessment to its relations with Armenia, which are anchored in mutual respect and strategic cooperation. I am confident that the Armenian-Belarusian cooperation will develop in the future as well.”

Separately, Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said of Oman sent a congratulatory message to Sargisian. The Sultan congratulated and extended his sincere wishes to the president and people of Armenia, the Oman Observer reports.

Emir Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah of Kuwait likewise sent a congratulatory letter to Sargisian.

(PanArmenian.net and news.am contributed to this report.)