NKR President Bako Sahakyan delivered speech at the meeting with Armenian entrepreneurs and philanthropists of Russia. Read the message below.
Ladies and gentlemen
I am happy to have this opportunity today to meet you, welcome and express my deepest respect to everybody.
Our meetings in Moscow have already become traditional, which is not accidental at all. Russia has been ally and friend of the Armenian people for centuries and you being its citizens serve as a unique bridge between your two homelands, live and work with the idea of providing help to them.
People gathered in this hall have always assisted to prosperity and well-being of Artsakh, they consider the problems of their remote Motherland and the pain of their native people as their own. You have preserved the sense of patriotism alive. This very sense performed miracles in the battlefield and I am confident that it will encourage us nowadays because the challenges we face in times of peace are no less important and require quick and efficient response.
The restoration and development of the ancient Armenian town of Shoushi that for centuries had been political, spiritual and cultural center of Artsakh is among such urgent issues. We intend to restore historical glory of past Shoushi, make the town modern, flourishing and developed. And the fact that you are here is the best evidence certifying that for each of you irrespective of residence place the development of this homeland particle, its present and future is of utmost importance and you are ready to contribute your mite to this important process.
The restoration of Artsakh’s old capital is of crucial importance for the independent Armenian statehood. Historically Shoushi played various roles in the not only for Artsakh but also in the life of the entire Armenian people. In the XVIII-XIX centuries it was one of the military, political, economic, cultural and education centers of the Transcaucasus.
At the beginning of the 20th century there tens of factories, educational and cultural centers functioning in the town, 22 newspapers were being published in Armenian and Russian languages, Shoushi had close economic connection with major cities in Russia, Europe and the Middle East. Shoushi has also given a great constellation of scientists, art workers, military and political figures.
The most tragic period in the history of the town was the beginning of the 20th century. In 1905 the first massacre of Armenians was organized in the town, hundreds of innocent people fell victims to it. In 1918-1920 Shoushi was the center of the Artsakh liberation movement and the capital of self-governing Nagorno Karabagh. In 1920 the town was destroyed and the Armenians were expelled.
During the Artsakh war Shoushi was turned to one of the main Azerbaijani military bases spreading death to capital Stepanakert and adjacent Armenian settlements.
May 9, 1992 was a turning point both for Artsakh and for the entire Armenians. Shoushi was liberated and this heartened the world spread Armenians. It was our second great victory after Sardarapat. It was both military and moral victory.
The liberation of Shoushi awaked in the sub-consciousness of our people self-confidence in our own strength and gaining a unified victory, as well as resoluteness in building free and independent statehood. This great victory was Pan-Armenian in its nature. The entire Armenian nation partook in the liberation of Shoushi, the world Armenians provided material and moral assistance to Artsakh and prayed to God asking for restoration of historical justice.
The authorities of the NKR consider the development of the town of Shoushi and the whole region as an issue of great strategic importance. For this very reason we are planning to move some state organs and structures to Shoushi, including the judicial system, the ministry of culture and youth affairs, some sub-divisions of the Defense Army, the union of writers, Artsakh branch of the State Agricultural University of Armenia and some other bodies. We are confident that these measures will give a new impetus to the development of the town.
Various funds and organizations as well as individual philanthropists play a substantial role in the development of Shoushi. Our people are very much grateful to them.
Dear friends, a great deal of work such as construction and reconstruction of dwelling houses, educational centers, health care units, cultural centers roads, water supply system and other objects should be done in Shoushi.
The development of Shoushi is a matter of honor. The thriving of the town will demonstrate the world our cohesion and united will in defending national values, developing and strengthening sovereign and independent state, further cementing the Armenia-Artsakh-Diaspora trinity. I am confident that together we can effectively solve this very problem too and gain another common victory.
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