Nikol Pashinyan speaks i Gyumri.

Independence Day Celebrated in Gyumri

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GYUMRI (Armenpress) — Commemorative and celebratory events marking the 28th anniversary of the independence of Armenia took place on September 21 in Gyumri.

In addition, the top officials of Armenia and Artsakh visited the Yerablur military pantheon in Yerevan on the occasion.

Armenia’s President Armen Sarkissian, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II, Speaker of Parliament Ararat Mirzoyan and President of Artsakh Bako Sahakyan visited the pantheon.

The officials laid flowers at the graves of Sparapet (Commander) Vazgen Sargsyan, Andranik Ozanyan and a wreath at the memorial dedicated to the fallen soldiers.

The catholicos offered a prayer.

The declaration of the newly independent Armenia gave the start of the Third Republic of Armenia’s history. For 28 years already, the bearers of the Armenian statehood are the people of Armenia.

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Congratulatory messages were sent by officials from around the world, including Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who wrote: “The Russian-Armenian relations, which are based on centuries-old friendship and allied partnership,  continue to develop progressively. Our countries are effectively cooperating within integration unions at regional and international platforms.”

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wrote on the State Department’s website: “On behalf of the United States, it is my great pleasure to wish the people of Armenia a happy Independence Day.  On September 21, 1991, the people of Armenia declared their independence from the Soviet Union. During the past year, the government and people of Armenia have taken bold steps to broaden political participation and advance democratic governance.  Armenia now has a unique opportunity to fight corruption consistent with due process, strengthen the rule of law buttressed by an independent judiciary, and attract greater foreign investment.  I look forward to continuing our work with Armenia to realize these goals and to build a better future for the next generation of Armenians.”

In his message to his constituents, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan praised the heroics of the people, especially in light of the Artsakh war at the same time. “The Armenian people managed to win thanks to the unity and will. This victory was first of all brought by the war volunteers who voluntarily joined the process of defending the homeland. They conducted their mission with honor and prevented the eradication of the mother land. And after this a much more complex process of state-building started.”

He added that during the independence years there have been difficult years. “We saw quite a sad period when there was a time when almost every day a question was being voiced in the media how would be the results if the independence referendum took place 5, 10, 15, 201 years after 1991. Of course, I have always believed that at all times, no matter when the independence referendum would take place, our people would say a united “yes” to the independence. I have never doubted this. But I should state that there have been many people who had doubts during this period. And eventually, the response to this question was given. Because I believe that in April-May 2018 a new independence referendum took place in Armenia, and those 100 thousand citizens, who went out to the square, the streets, in Armenia and the Diaspora, came to once again say “yes” to Armenia’s independence with the same determination. It was a referendum for a new independence, which said that during these 28 years the Armenian people not only have not worn out their will to have an independent statehood, sovereignty and democracy, but also have become more decisive, determined, strong.

“And so today is September 21, September 21 of 28 years, and we gathered here to once again reaffirm that Armenia’s independent state will exist on the universe forever and the Armenian people as a great unity have enough will, enough wisdom, knowledge, talent and determination to bear the responsibility of statehood on their shoulders and live freely and happily in that statehood as proud citizens of a free country,” Pashinyan said.

 

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