The President of the Artsakh Republic Arayik Harutyunyan calls on the political forces to put aside all disagreements. The door to cooperation is open for all of you.
“Exactly 30 years ago, in 1991. On December 10, 1945, in the midst of hostilities and shelling of peaceful settlements, our people organized a high-level referendum on independence, paving the way for us to reach our goals.
With the Constitution of the Republic of Azerbaijan adopted in 2006, we reaffirmed our commitment to the values and ideas that blended the foundations of our newly independent statehood. And this thirty-year march, no matter how difficult and bloody it was, we were able to build and strengthen our statehood through national efforts, continuing the value process of the Artsakh movement.
Despite the OSCE Minsk Group’s mediation efforts for the peaceful settlement of the Azerbaijani-Karabakh conflict, non-use of force by the three well-known principles presented to the conflicting parties, other well-known principles of international law, Azerbaijan carried out several military aggressions against the Artsakh Republic and its civilian population. became for our statehood and people. Regardless of the great human, territorial, material and moral-psychological consequences it caused, the Republic of Artsakh stands, and the will and endurance of our people on the chosen path of independence are unshakable. Its bright indicators are the presence of about 120,000 people in this short period, the provision of a high percentage of security environment, the work of state institutions and development efforts, the reconstruction of infrastructure and the economy. It is noteworthy that the state bodies not only fulfill their vital powers on the basis of the Constitution and the legislation of the Republic of Azerbaijan, but also, symbolically, local elections are held in two large communities today, as small but important manifestations of our state-building determination.
Referring to the post-war situation and our future plans, I would like to single out a few main provisions.
a) Security. Today we can state that despite the targeted provocations undertaken by Azerbaijan, due to the efforts of the Russian peacekeeping troops, the Defense Army, relative stability is maintained in Artsakh, which gives an opportunity to have a vision for the future and make active efforts in that direction. In this regard, I would like to express my deep gratitude to all the servicemen standing in the defense of the Motherland, as well as to all members of the peacekeeping force and personally to Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose direct efforts have thwarted Turkish aspirations in the region. Given the extremely destructive and aggressive position of the Azerbaijani side, the uncertainty of the prospects and timing of the final and just settlement of the conflict, the Artsakh authorities and people believe that the presence of Russian peacekeepers in Artsakh should be guaranteed and indefinite until the need arises. And the needs and opinions of the people of Artsakh should be key factors in this issue, as we are the main beneficiaries of the peacekeeping mission.
Another important way to ensure proper security is to consolidate the capabilities and strengths of the Defense Army, taking into account the existing challenges and the specifics of the situation. Some tangible work has already been done in the past year, and year after year we will improve the effectiveness of our own security mechanisms.
b) Foreign policy. We will continue to fight for the unconditional recognition of the realization of our people’s right to self-determination and the return of the occupied territories. We are in favor of a peaceful settlement of the conflict, where the international recognition of the independence of Azerbaijan on the basis of the right to self-determination is our main and uncompromising goal, which will pave the way for the realization of the ultimate goal of the Artsakh movement. In this regard, we expect the unconditional and local support of the whole Armenian nation, without hesitation and reluctance on the path we have chosen.
c) Demography. One of the main guarantees of keeping Artsakh Armenian and settling the conflict in favor of Armenia is the existence of the Armenian people in their own homeland. In this respect, the post-war demographics are quite promising, but serious efforts and resources are needed to achieve the desired results.
In this context, the satisfaction of housing needs is the main issue that we started to solve immediately after the war. In particular, we have started large-scale construction in different parts of Artsakh; we plan to build about 5,000 apartments for the displaced and other vulnerable groups within three years. Of course, this does not mean that we are giving up our lost homeland, but on the other hand we understand very well that the negotiation process in this regard can take a long time, leaving the displaced families to the whims of fate or the infamous attempt to keep them in tent settlements. is unacceptable.
Continuing the topic, I would like to emphasize that the housing issue in Artsakh must be resolved comprehensively. Therefore, according to my pre-election promise, each family will have its own apartment, but it takes some patience to eliminate the sharp consequences of the war. However, in parallel with this process, we will gradually launch new housing programs to support all needy families.
We are launching or planning a number of other programs to promote natural and mechanical demographic growth in Artsakh. Nevertheless, this is one of the main directions where pan-Armenian consolidation is needed – large-scale and continuous participation, taking into account the amount of resources required.
d) Socio-economic development. Especially in the case of the loss of most of the economic potential due to the war, the socio-economic problems are very acute. Of course, thanks to the Government of the Republic of Armenia, the Hayastan All-Armenian Fund and other charitable organizations, the Government of the Russian Federation and the ICRC, we have been able to solve many problems, but the state budget of the Artsakh Republic for the coming years is very important for institutional solutions. I am happy to note that due to the support of the Republic of Armenia, in 2022 the expenditure part of the state budget of the Republic of Azerbaijan will make about 215 billion drams. For comparison, let me state that in 2020 The state budget was about 122 billion drams. This will definitely provide an opportunity to address the Government’s potential challenges, but much greater resources are needed to continue to improve the socio-economic and demographic situation, including in the form of economic investment.
Therefore, I expect that all capable pan-Armenian circles will have their direct participation in this important direction.
Of course, in parallel with all this, the full implementation of free and high-quality health and education systems will be important for us. The process started before the war, which continues today, and next year will include new programs.
e) Domestic policy. Both before and especially after the war, I have opened the door to cooperation with all political forces, believing that only through joint efforts can these difficult challenges be met. In this regard, we have many visible results, which are largely due to the collaborative environment. However, I myself am not satisfied with the degree of involvement and participation of all capable public and political forces in the state-building of Artsakh and the solution of the problems. We will continuously implement reforms in the public administration system to increase the level of efficiency, transparency and public accountability.
This is the vision that I, the Government I lead, have. Disappointment, mourning, the loss of most of the Homeland have caused us all to feel down and uncertain, but I urge you to find us again soon. I believe that just as about 120,000 Armenians now live and create in their homeland, we will overcome all challenges, successfully face all challenges and build new victories together.
In the end, I once again appeal to all parliamentary and extra-parliamentary political forces, all local and pan-Armenian organizations and individuals to put aside all disagreements. The door of cooperation is open for all of you, let us join hands for the sake of our Artsakh, for the sake of the bright future of our people, for the sake of the holy blood shed by our martyrs and build the Homeland of our dreams. “After all, all the authorities are temporary, the values for which we live and fight are permanent,” the Artsakh President wrote on his Facebook page.
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