Karabakh movement saved hundreds of thousands of lives: President Sargsyan’s message on movement’s 30th anniversary
YEREVAN, FEBRUARY 20, ARMENPRESS. President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan addressed a message on the Artsakh Revival Day and the 30th anniversary of the Karabakh movement, the Presidential Office told Armenpress.
The message reads:
On February 20, 1988 the extraordinary sitting of the regional council of Nagorno Karabakh adopted a decision which expressed the will of the Artsakh people to free self-determination. Three decades ago all Armenians joined Artsakh’s fair demand and fight. Today we celebrate the 30th anniversary of this historic turning event which was declared by the Republic of Artsakh as the Artsakh Revival Day.
Moreover, it became the revival day of the Armenian people. Monte was right when he insisted that if we have lost Artsakh, we would have turned the last page of the Armenian history. February 20 of 1988 was the moment of unity, determination and national awakening of the Armenian people.
Azerbaijan responded to the peaceful and legal steps of our people by massacres organized in Sumgait and other places. During those days it was already clear that the people of Artsakh are doomed to physical extermination or victory.
We were forced to wage war. The war initiators were confident that they have a great advantage, by eliminating Armenians and depopulating Artsakh, they will close the Karabakh issue quickly and permanently. From the distance of three decades today we already can confidently state that the Karabakh movement saved hundreds of thousands of lives.
The Armenians of Artsakh, having the support of all Armenians, managed to overcome this difficult experience with honor. Today those, who call us enemy, accuse us on everything, but the only fault of the Artsakh people is that they were not defeated and were not exterminated in that war.
The Karabakh movement should have faced a transformation at certain stage of history. By the proclamation of the statehood, the movement didn’t shrink, rather, it became a state policy. The crown of pan-national outburst and awakening are our two Armenian states.
We celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Karabakh movement by hearing the same threats as 30 years ago. The anti-Armenian propaganda continues for 30 years. It seems nothing has changed. But we have changed. The free Artsakh, which shook off the Azeri yoke 30 years ago, is developing at a progressive pace both economically, politically, or culturally.
Perhaps there is a justified perception in our public consciousness that what has been done is not enough. Thus, we constantly need to raise the bar of our demands and expectations.
As a people and state we still have much to do. Huge steps must be taken in all spheres, but what we have done jointly over the past 30 years, sometimes, in the most difficult conditions, is really not a little. It’s obvious, this is the most important thirty years of the Armenian history of the past centuries. We will do much more and will again think that it is not enough.
Non-freedom has no justification, and freedom has no alternative. We are building modern and democratic states in the Republics of Armenia and Artsakh. We unconditionally respect the fundamental human rights since for the entire Armenian people freedom and human dignity are absolute values.
Long live the Republic of Armenia!
Long live the Republic of Artsakh!
Long live the leaders of the Karabakh movement!”