YEREVAN, SEPTEMBER 21, ARTSAKHPRESS. The Alma-Ata Declaration and related documents are one of the fundamental factors of the independence of the Republic of Armenia, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said in his Independence Day address on September 21.
Below is the full transcript of the Prime Minister’s address.
“Dear people, dear compatriots,
“Today we celebrate the 32nd anniversary of the independence of the Republic of Armenia. Independence, having an independent state, is the highest form of self-expression of any people, and it is often granted at the cost of many trials and sufferings.
“This is also true for us. In the referendum of September 21, 1991, the people of the Republic of Armenia said “Yes” to Independence.
But as it turned out later, this was the easiest part of the road to Independence. The people of the Republic of Armenia later had to face economic and political crises, wars and poverty. It is in this whirlwind and passing through trials that we realized that declaring independence is one thing, conquering and strengthening it is completely different.
“The sufferings and trials we have endured in recent years are an integral part of the struggle for the independence and sovereignty of the Republic of Armenia. Lately, when conducting foreign and regional policy I have often been criticized for relying on the Alma-Ata Declaration of December, 1991 and related documents, which were also signed by the Republic of Armenia.
“Many are calling directly and indirectly to abandon the policy based on that document. The issue is that the Alma-Ata Declaration and related documents are one of the fundamental factors of the independence of the Republic of Armenia, which records the political and legal basis for 12 former USSR republics, including the Republic of Armenia, gaining independence from the Soviet Union, as well as the fundamental principles of that independence.
“And therefore, calls to abandon policies based on that document are calls to abandon Armenia’s independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity, with all the consequences arising from this.
“Dear people, dear compatriots,
“Today we are living in difficult times, suffering unspeakable physical and psychological suffering. But it is important to understand why we have to go through this path of trials. To say that for the sake of Independence means to say a large part of the truth, but not the most important part. Because independence, no matter how high a goal, is actually a means to achieve a higher goal. It is about the happiness of our future generations.
“We must pass down to them an Armenia where people can freely express themselves, build their own happiness through free and creative work.
“Even today, many conditions contributing to this are present in Armenia: democracy, freedom of economic and any legal activity, equality of all before the law, principled anti-corruption policy, economic activity are necessary but not sufficient conditions for this.
“For these conditions to be complete, peace, that is, a conflict-free environment, is necessary. Peace is a factor that ensures and guarantees security as well as independence and sovereignty.
“Many believe that in this tense regional environment, in the face of occasional military conflicts, it is not adequate to talk about peace. But particularly in these conditions, peace should be valued and peace should not be confused with a truce or a ceasefire. Peace is an environment that is free from conflicts, inter-state, inter-ethnic conflicts.
“This path is not easy, it goes through external and internal shocks, and we must go through this path for the sake of independence, for the sake of statehood, for the sake of the future.
“In the summer of 2021, with your vote, I was elected the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia with the motto “There is a future”. The peaceful, democratic, prosperous, creative and happy future of the Republic of Armenia is the goal for which we endure these trials, for which we walk this path.
“I congratulate everyone on the occasion of Independence Day.
“Glory to the martyrs and long live the Republic of Armenia.
“Long live the Republic of Armenia!”