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Artur Tovmasyan Addressed the Armenian Community of Cyprus on the 104th Anniversary of the Proclamation of the First Republic of Armenia
28 May 2022

"Your Holiness, state representative of the Armenian community, dear Armenians, ladies and gentlemen!

Let us observe a minute of silence to honor the immortal memory of the victims on the way to proclamation of the First Republic of Armenia and the three Artsakh wars.

First of all, on behalf of the Artsakh Armenians and the Artsakh authorities accept my warm greetings to the Armenian community of Cyprus and to the participants of today's event.

Only distance can separate Armenians scattered all over the world. Having overcome the turmoil of millennia, the Armenian people, who have sometimes lost their statehood and rebuilt it again and again, must remain united in the strategies of resolving national aspirations. Attending the invitation of the Artsakh delegation to today's event is a modest testament to that. To say that the Artsakh delegation attended today's event with 4 members would be incomplete. The fifth member of the delegation is Eleni Theocharous, a prominent Cypriot politician and statesman, who first visited Artsakh in 1991 to provide medical services; not only did Theocharius make the voice of Artsakh heard by the international community.

More than a century divides times from the days of May, when after the glorious victories in Sardarapat, Gharakilisa and Bash-Aparan and the defeat of the Turkish troops, the independence of Armenia was declared. More than half a millennium after the fall of the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia, Armenian statehood was restored.

With that legal-political act of racial significance for the Armenian people, Armenia became an international entity. External relations were established, ambassadors and representatives were appointed in a number of countries.

Independent and established statehood is a precondition for the survival, empowerment and recognition of each nation by the world community. The Armenian nation was able to survive at the cost of many struggles thanks to such dedicated leaders as Aram Manukyan, Hovhannes Kajaznuni, Alexander Khatisyan, Hamazasp Ohanjanyan, Simon Vratsyan, Avetik Sahakyan, Avetis Aharonyan. Thousands of Armenians, led by military commanders Tovmas Nazarbekyan, Dro, Movses Silikyan, and Daniel Bek-Pirumyan thousands of Armenians rushed to the rescue and self-defense of the last part of historical Armenia. We bow to their bright memory. "

We consider it necessary to emphasize the weighty contribution and role of the "Armenian Revolutionary Federation" party starting from the creation of the cornerstones of Armenia's independence to the establishment of higher state institutions and structures. It is known that on May 26, 1918, after the dissolution of the Transcaucasian Seym, the Dashnaktsutyun made a huge effort to adopt a declaration by the Armenian National Council in Tbilissi (Georgia) in difficult and controversial geopolitical and regional situations; which declared the supreme and sole authority over the Armenian provinces. Only after that did the government arrive in Yerevan from Tbilissi (Georgia), where the government was implemented by the National Council of the capital, headed by Aram Manukyan.

The newly created state signed the first forced agreement with Turkey in Batumi a week after declaring it a sovereign Republic. In the conditions, with that agreement, of German-Turkish conquest of Transcaucasia, Turkey recognized the independence of Armenia.

The Turks were given the right to move troops to Baku through the corridors of Armenia, from where the Armenian forces defending the Baku commune were to be withdrawn. However, the local Armenian National Council rejected it because the lives of about 100,000 Armenians in the city were endangered by the threat of a new genocide. Armenia was obliged to disarm the anti-Turkish troops on its territory.

The establishment of good neighborly relations between Armenia and Iran, one of the neighboring countries, was of great importance in the description of the military-political situation in the region. The position of Azerbaijan and Turkey towards Armenia was initially tough and hostile. Azerbaijan had territorial claims to Zangezur, Nagorno-Karabakh and Nakhichevan.

Dear compatriots!

From the incomplete picture of historical holes as it has already become noticeable, in May 1918 the events that took place after the restoration of the Armenian statehood, almost repetitive and with a similar script continue in the present two Armenian states against the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Artsakh.

The Azerbaijani-Turkish military-political tandem continues its territorial ambitions towards Armenia and Artsakh after the end of the war unleashed with the involvement of international terrorists and the modern military arsenal of other countries.

Currently the same tandem in Syunik and Tavush regions, citing data from some maps, demonstrates an aggressive policy of privatizing territories under the pretext of demarcation and demarcation.

And the conspiratorial occupation of the Karaglkh plateau in the Askeran region is nothing but than an insidious tactic of gradually evicting Armenians from Artsakh. In this regard, Azerbaijan, taking advantage of the protracted situation in the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, tries to achieve the maximum possible. Shootings at border communities’ civilians’ аre frequent. There have been cases of human hunting and theft of livestock in the contact area. In an unprecedented snowy winter, they blew up the main gas pipeline, putting the people of Artsakh in front of a humanitarian catastrophe.

I assure you that the mentality of the people of Artsakh is not one that retreat in the face of difficulties. Our national pride and dignity are inseparable, no one can undermine it. We are resolute in our struggle. The will of the people of Artsakh to live and create in their historical homeland is unshakable. It is unacceptable to have any relations with Azerbaijan by lowering the status bar.

The collective will and determination of the Armenians of Artsakh was reflected in the statements made by the National Assembly of the Artsakh Republic and in my personal messages.

We are faced with the imperative to learn from the past, to imitate, to summarize what has happened. We are faced with the imperative to learn from the past, to imitate, to summarize what has happened. At present, the priority is to ensure the reliable security of the country, carried out by the peacekeeping forces of the Russian Federation and the military staff of the Artsakh Republic Defense Army. This is a pleasant and auspicious occasion to express satisfaction and gratitude to the Russian Federation for the peacekeeping mission in Artsakh from this tribune.

The problems facing the Republic of Artsakh in the face of new challenges are varied.

Housing of tens of thousands of people in enemy-occupied territories is underway in parallel with their family employment, issues of social conditions and material care, investing all the possibilities of the state budget. Nevertheless, opportunities remain limited, although there is support from the Republic of Armenia and Diaspora organizations and business circles.

Dear compatriots!

The right of the people of Artsakh to self-determination is unstoppable and is not subject to bargaining. The President of the Artsakh Republic has spoken about this many times in his interviews and statements. The issue was also referred to in the joint statements of the factions of the National Assembly.

The aspirations of the Artsakh Armenians to become full and equal members of the world family of states and peoples, unprecedented national liberation struggle with its uniqueness are also subject to recognition based on international experience in resolving ethnic conflicts.

Despite the opposing positions of the conflicting parties on the Karabakh issue, we are definitely inclined to continue the negotiation process under the auspices of the OSCE Minsk Group. This official position of ours should be perceptible also for the countries pursuing their regional interests in the South Caucasus.

Before summing up my speech, as a motto of the conclusion, I declare:

If the first Republic of Armenia has existed for only 2.5 years, then after the break-up of the Soviet empire, the existence of the newly independent Republic of Armenia and the Artsakh Republic is forever.

God bless the Diaspora, Armenia and the Artsakh Republic. "

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