Greeting Speech of Ashot Ghoulyan at the Meeting with Members of the "France-Artsakh" Friendship Circle
06 April 2018

Dear friends,

Glad our next meeting. I am pleased to be surrounded by friends of Artsakh and to greet all of you on behalf of our people and authorities.

France - one of those unique countries, to return to which is not only pleasure, but also a source of inspiration and copying to us. And there are many examples for copying: political and legal culture, universal values, art, culture ... this list can be continued forever.

This year in February, the 30th anniversary of our struggle for freedom - the Karabakh movement - was celebrated. Over the years, along with the support of our compatriots scattered throughout the world, we have felt and continue to feel the support of foreign political and public figures, legislators, journalists, and in general all those people for whom the freedom and fundamental human and people’s rights are absolute values and who understand the meaning of the struggle of the people of Artsakh for these same values.

No one and nothing can force an entire people to turn from the path of struggle for freedom, a tangible and difficult part of which has already been passed: I mean the war that was imposed on us and the institutional formation of an independent state.

Dear colleagues,

The European civilizational concept plays an important role for small countries building the entire concept of statehood around the value of freedom. In the case of Artsakh, I must emphasize that this is not just a theory. Equally important for us is the will to carry out the obligations to protect the rights of citizens within the country and increase their welfare.

Undoubtedly, in our case this is accompanied by the processes of confrontation and overcoming external security challenges, in particular, the constant threats from Azerbaijan. However, we are resolute in our desire to build a rule-of-law state.

A year ago, with the adoption of the new Constitution, we began a serious process in terms of both expanding human and civil rights and freedoms, and ensuring their constitutional guarantees, improving the mechanisms of checks and balances between the branches of power.

I should also note that the temporary absence of international recognition is not an obstacle for us in striving to act within the framework of universally accepted norms and accepted by the international community. And it is not just words. We have unilaterally ratified or acceded to more than a dozen international conventions and treaties relating to the protection of human rights. Artsakh is ready for international cooperation and the numerous examples of the establishment of parliamentary, decentralized relations and relations, including in the cultural and humanitarian spheres, recorded in recent years, are the best proof of this. I cannot but note that the addressee of a significant part of these examples is France, and you are the initiators of these grateful deeds.



The greatness of nations is measured not only by traditional criteria, such as the army, the economy, but also by the civilizational values they have created or are committed to. One of the missions of the people dictating civilizational culture, perhaps, is the obligation to declare those who live by the same values and make their voice audible.

In this regard, let me express on behalf of the people of Artsakh sincere gratitude to you for the consistent efforts and moral support that the voice of Artsakh be heard in France and Europe, and this once again confirms the eternity of the French values of freedom of equality and brotherhood and their relevance to ours days.