STEPANAKERT– On Tuesday Sept. 2, the Republic of Nagorno Karabagh (NKR) celebrated its 23rd anniversary of independence. NKR President Bako Sahakyan, accompanied by an official delegation from Armenia including President Serge Sarkisian, visited the Stepanakert memorial to pay tribute to those who lost their lives during the Artsakh war.
At the memorial, President Sarkisian placed flowers on the tomb of Artur Mkrtchyan , who was the First Chairman of the Republic Supreme Council.. That was followed by a march to Rebirth Square.
Sarkisian arrived in Stepanakert on Sunday, Aug. 31. He began his trip by visiting businesses in Stepanakert and in the Southeastern Martuni district. The following day, Sarkisian and Sahakyan jointly inaugurated a newly rebuilt school in a Northwestern Karabagh village, and attended the opening of a geology museum in Shushi.
The Press Office of the President of Armenia did not state whether the President would visit the line of contact as he usually does when he visits.
President Sarkisian congratulated the independence of Artsakh. He said, “I congratulate you on the Independence Day of Nagorno-Karabagh. You managed to found and build a state through the support of the entire nation and, first of all, owing to your unyielding will, superhuman efforts, and enormous sacrifices (…) We are not by far the only ones to admire the furtherance of democracy, the cultural and educational progress, as well as the pace of economic growth in the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. Artsakh has already demonstrated to the world and themselves that they are civilized enough to build a powerful and prosperous statehood.”
“The war imposed on us and the frequent provocations along the borders are nothing compared to the powerful spirit that has been guiding the people of Artsakh and Armenians all over the world,” added Sarkisian.
This year’s celebrations were symbolic, as July saw a high number of casualties that reportedly claimed as many as 50 Azeri casualties and six Armenians.