Artsakh Celebrates 25th Anniversary of National Liberation Movement

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STEPANAKERT (PanARMENIAN.Net and Armenpress) — President of the Nagorno Karabagh (Artsakh) Republic Bako Sahakyan issued an address on the 25th anniversary of the National Liberation Movement on February 20.

“Twenty five years ago this day proved to be pivotal for Artsakh and the whole Armenian people. The entire nation stood with a peaceful and legitimate demand in line with the fundamental norms and principles of international law to restore historical justice, defend our violated dignity, rights and liberties,” Sahakyan said.

“Our nation’s struggle against foreign yoke, nearly seven decades of persistent violence and oppression was at the very basis of the 1988 Movement. Despite all of that, the national liberation outburst did not cultivate national hatred and animosity towards the neighboring nation. However, authorities of Azerbaijan responded to our civilized demands and peaceful demonstrations by organizing massacres, exiles and persecution. They once again tried to solve the Armenian issue through already applied policy — genocide,” he said.

“Nevertheless, this time their infernal intensions doomed to failure. The whole Armenian nation came together for the sake of defending Artsakh, the native country and people, its honor and reliable future. At the cost of the best Armenian sons’ blood, due to their heroic deeds and selflessness we succeeded in protecting our independence and freedom as well as gave a worthy rebuff to the enemy establishing peace and stability in the whole region. Eternal glory and honor to all the martyrs,” Artsakh leader said.

“Valuating the 25-year-long path we can say with honor and dignity that realizing the ideas of the objective of 1988 Movement the Armenian nation restored its statehood, and today due to the unshakable Armenia-Artsakh-Diaspora trinity it has carved its own fate independently, keeps inviolable the native country’s frontiers and develops the land of ancestors. All of us, the whole nation will do everything possible for continuous strengthening of our independent statehood that has been reached at such a high price. It is an exclusive value without which it is impossible to think about the immortality and development of the Fatherland and the native people.

Different events dedicated to 25th anniversary of Artsakh movement were held around the world, including in Lebanon.

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An exhibition was organized in Beirut, the opening ceremony of which was conducted by leader of Armenian Prelacy of Lebanon Archbishop Gegham Khacheryan, Armenian Ambassador to Lebanon Ashot Kocharyan, NKR representative in Middle East Karo Kebabjyan and Lebanese Minister of Industry Verj Sabounjian. Photos, representing Artsakh everyday life, as well as portraits of martyrs by Seyran Khatlamachyan were presented at the exhibition.

In the US, Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues Co-Chair Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-NJ) and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) congratulated the 25th anniversary.

In a letter sent to Sahakyan, Pallone noted that “Artsakh’s path was challenged by various ordeals and your nation refused to allow these obstacles to break your will and determination. The tragedy of Sumgait and the violence that occurred in other Azerbaijani cities 25 years ago proved the virtue of Nagorno Karabagh’s choice to preserve its people’s unique identity by establishing a sovereign democracy.”

Schiff, who has been a champion of increased US assistance to Artsakh, concurred, noting that “You have my support as you work to strengthen your democracy, and I will continue to stand with the people of Artsakh in their struggle towards international recognition. I join you today in looking forward to the day when Artsakh will achieve the recognition it deserves among the community of nations.”