09, 2016

Presidential Address on the occasion of Independence Day

Presidential Address on the occasion of Independence Day

Distinguished President of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic Bako Sahakyan,

Your Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians,

Your Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia,

Dear Colleagues,

Dear Compatriots,

I cordially congratulate you on the occasion of Independence Day.

We are celebrating the 25th anniversary of our independence with our heads held high. We have gone down a difficult but decent path. What did we have at the beginning of that road? We had a country, one third of which was literally leveled to the ground by a devastating earthquake. People had no place to live, to say nothing of jobs. In that situation, we received hundreds of thousands of refugees from the neighboring country. Moreover, we were standing at the verge of a full-scale war. We started under energy crisis and blockade. Probably neither of the former Soviet Republics had such unfavorable starting position. But we did not falter in our choice, remained true to our resolve to build an independent and democratic state.

Our people overcame all hardships with the peculiar tenacity, wisdom, diligence, and courage. Our people revealed the ability to defend Armenia and Artsakh, to develop economy and social life.

I said it before, I reiterate it once again: for me, the greatest achievement of the new twenty-five years old Armenia is the generation born in independence. In past twenty-five years, a new generation grew up in Armenia for which to be a citizen of Armenia is not just a destiny but also an honor: a new generation, which is open to the world and is educated better that the previous generations; a new generation which is politically literate and believes in the noblest and most humane values; a generation whose mentality is based on the principles of freedom and democracy.

This is a new generation which does not and will not tolerate any kind of tyranny or dictatorship, will not tolerate any step aimed at the restriction of their rights and freedoms. And finally, this is a generation which is ready to fight and defend the Fatherland, and fight like lions.

We may build one structure more or one structure less, but we have to build a competitive and successful society. Our greatest wealth are our children who will tomorrow become that society. Moreover, even today they already represent that society and bring honor to our country. We take pride in those children who every year win numerous medals at international Olympiads.

The independence generation in our country has high standards and high demands. They also have discontent, and that discontent is an important and necessary element of progress. Could you imagine what it would be like if they were content and happy with the existing reality? They show discontent, they protest, criticize, and demand because they want to live in a better country; they want to live in a freer, more lawful, more prosperous country. They do not let the representatives of the senior generation lose vigilance and thereby, they are speeding up the reforms.

Why this is the most important thing for me? State is a tool which is called to serve people and not vice versa. The independence generation wants to improve that tool. And that generation is on the right path. We are walking down a very complicated but the most promising path of building democratic stability. It is indeed very difficult to cover in a couple of decades a distance which others covered in hundreds of years. But it is possible because the course is charted.

Dear Compatriots,

Last twenty-five years of Armenia’s independence have proved once again that nobody is going to solve our problems for us. We are able and will be solving them in the order of priority. We have wonderful friends, partners and allies all over the world. We thank them for cooperation, but let us not forget that responsibility still rests with us, only and only with us. The independence generation is gradually coming to assume that historic responsibility. Before speaking of the mote in one’s eye, they speak of a beam in our own. This is the right path because solutions to all problems are within us. The more mature we as a society, the faster we will solve our problems.

Dear Compatriots,

We are following the path of honest work, honest earning, and the truth telling path. Our society is our wealth. Whatever good there is in our country, it’s been done by them – the citizens of the Republic of Armenia, regardless of who was leading the country.

Today our country has entered a new, accelerated phase of reforms. These are not just personnel changes as some would like to think. These are structural changes which will bring about a qualitatively new state. This is not just wishful thinking; this is a succession of the preset, defined steps. We know where we are going and how to get there. If an entire nation wants to renovate its house, it will do it. Nothing will make us deviate from that route, while the amended Constitution will become a bright beacon illuminating that route.

The Armenia-Artsakh-Spyurk trinity is our strength. Whatever we have done in a quarter of a century, we have done together. Tomorrow we will do even more. In the process we have not only used the existing potential but have also accumulated new experiences and new potential. We have formed new platforms and tools which open new horizons before us.

I once again congratulate us all on the occasion of Independence Day. The realization of our national aspirations is in our own hands. It will take time and work to do. I wish us all peaceful skies and new achievements for the glory of our country and our nation.

National Hero of the Republic of Armenia Movses Gorgissian used to say, “Long live the Armenia which will come tomorrow.” He was speaking of an independent and free Armenia. Today we are saying, “Long live the Armenia which has come”, but immediately follow by saying “Long live the Armenia which will come tomorrow,” and we mean a more prosperous and secure Armenia.

Long live the Armenian nation!

Long live the Republic of Armenia!

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