I greet you all on behalf of the people and the government of the Republic of Artsakh as well as in my personal capacity at this already traditional event dedicated to the independence of the Artsakh Republic.
It is symbolic for us to organize this event on the occasion of Artsakh’s independence in the United States Congress as both our nations and states share the same values.
After 25 years of our own independence, we can state that the Republic of Artsakh has recorded considerable successes in regards to respecting and guaranteeing human rights and freedoms, building liberal market-based economy and a democratic political system.
Given the ongoing confrontation with such a neighbor like Azerbaijan, the people of Artsakh continue not only to survive for more than twenty years, but also to create and develop their own country.
After the proclamation of independence, we transformed our Soviet planned economy into a free market system, which was not an easy task.
Restoration and further development of Artsakh’s economy and ruined infrastructures became possible due to effective management of domestic resources and constant assistance and investments by Armenia and Diaspora.
With that being said, the development of our economy faces obstacles, too, and there are number of both objective and subjective hindering factors, most of which are conditioned by Baku’s antagonistic policies.
The latest large-scale outbreak of the Azerbaijani hatred towards Artsakh and all Armenians was in April of this year, when the Azerbaijani army violated the 1994 tripartite treaty of ceasefire with Artsakh and Armenia and attacked the military positions and peaceful settlements of Karabakh.
Four days after the Azerbaijani aggression, the official Baku requested a ceasefire due to the painful retaliatory actions of our army as well as Azerbaijani failures and greater losses.
In regards to the conflict resolution efforts, we welcome the steps of the co-chairs of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe Minsk Group directed towards the stabilization of the situation and conflict settlement.
Like the whole civilized world, we also claim that the conflict must be resolved only through peaceful means without use of force or the threat thereof.
It is important to say that despite the mediators’ long-standing efforts, the official Baku’s destructive and fascist policies have resulted in stalled and ineffective negotiations.
In the context of ensuring peace in the Karabakh conflict zone, we highly appreciate congressmen Ed Royce and Eliot Engel’s proposals which last year were introduced to the U.S. administration with the signatures of over 80 Members of Congress.
We are pleased and grateful that there are many legislators in the U.S. Congress who are concerned about the future of our people and who share our values.
I am sure that more such projects are still to come. In particular, now there is a need to expand the existing Baroness Caroline Cox Rehabilitation Center in Stepanakert, which is a unique center providing humanitarian services to wounded and disabled persons.
I call upon you to keep Karabakh’s challenges in the center of your attention and to participate as much as possible in trying to solving them.
Dear friends, our values are also your values. Our struggle is also your struggle. Our success is also your success. Let us stand together and support the victory of universal human values in another corner of the world