09, 2010

President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan’s statement on the occasion of Independence Day

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Your Holiness,
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,
Dear Compatriots,

I cordially congratulate you on the occasion of the 19th Anniversary of Independence of the Republic of Armenia.

The entire history of our nation is a history of struggle for freedom. That struggle was going on with variable success for centuries and millennia; at times it intensified, at times it subsided but it never stopped.

Our royal and noble families, backed by national support, passed from hand to hand the ensign of the Armenian identity, Armenian spirit and Armenian statehood. They did it not seeking glory but rather created those moments of glory; they united the nation around the idea, assembled means to achieve the sacred goal, fought and negotiated, supported arts and sciences.

All this was done concurrently, complementing each other. As a result, we were endowed with a legacy which is rich and compelling. It is so rich that at times it is difficult to embrace, so rich that the Matenadaran cannot accommodate it all, and it is so compelling that at times it seems like the burden is too heavy to carry.
But on September 21, 1991 the people of Armenia told the entire world things that were unspoken or only whispered. The people of Armenia stated out loud “Yes, we are the masters of our legacy, our identity, our ensign and our statehood; we will carry our historic responsibility. We are ready to unite around one sacred goal, we are ready to fight and negotiate, live and build, and we are ready to expand the Matenadaran.

The referendum, actually, was a promise that we gave to ourselves and, more importantly, to our heirs. Through the years it became clear that as a nation we have fulfilled the promise. Undoubtedly, along the way there were blunders, even serious mistakes, but never deadly ones, which could have deviated from the course or endanger the freedom and security of our state.

From the historic perspective, each year of independence was efficient, full of achievements and accomplishments. We have already acquired positive as well as negative experience. We have matured as a state structure and as a society with state thinking, which is moved by aspirations but also by reasonable reckoning and pragmatic approach.

Independent Armenia passed through three major economic crises - not without mistakes and failings but we were able to overcome them. We overcame them and drew some lessons. Today, we are on the road toward the economic recovery and now our task is to put economic growth on a solid foundation, with the assessment of the deficiencies in the world economic model that produced the crisis.

Yes, we continue to develop even under the illegal blockade. We are not enemies with anyone, but we have neighbors whose words and deeds are indisputably hostile. It is regrettable, but it’s a fact, and we have to make our steps based on that reality. Recurrent violations of the cease-fire, explicitly provocative and terrorist activities on the line of contact always get adequate response and only double our vigilance.

We are going down a very difficult but the only true road, which is leading to lasting peace and independence for Artsakh. Down the road we repeat again and again – do not try to intimidate us, we are not the kind to be bullied; do not bluster and don’t disgrace yourselves; we are not to be coerced, we are not the submissive type; but we are ready to talk and to shake hands on a fair decision.

Dear Compatriots,
I once again congratulate us all on the occasion of this glorious holiday. The Armenian state continues to fulfill its mission. We can rely only on ourselves. It doesn’t mean that we have no friends, allies and partners. It means that we exist and that through our joint efforts, through the mental, physical and spiritual power of our nation we will bring closer new glorious moments of the Armenian nation. We will do it just like the heroes of our nation who in the fight for freedom brought victory closer by paying with their own lives.

Glory to their memory!
Long live the Republic of Armenia!

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