Russia: NK marks anniversary of secession movement

Kavkazskiy Uzel, Russia
Feb. 21, 2008

NAGORNO KARABAKH MARKS ANNIVERSARY OF SECESSION MOVEMENT

The rally was held in the central square of the region’s capital,
Stepanakert (Xankandi), to mark "the 20thanniversary of the Karabakh
movement" which sought the region’s secession from Azerbaijan, the
reportadded.

Speaking at the rally, Karabakh’s president Bako Sahakyan said that
"the main achievement of the Artsakhmovement was the restored
statehood of the Armenian people… We once again tell the world that
Artsakh (the Armenianname for Karabakh) will never give up freedom
and independence gained with blood. The security of the Nagornyy
Karabakh republic will not be the subject of bargaining".

Sahakyan said that "our army is strong" and is ready to give an
appropriate rebuff to the enemy.

Kavkazskiy Uzel said that a statement by the Karabakh parliament was
also read out during the 20 February rally.

According to the statement, the Nagornyy Karabakh parliament
"confirms the Karabakh people’s determination to build a democratic
and sovereign state that was proclaimed on 2 September 1991 on the
basis of the right toself-determination".

The parliament expressed Karabakh’s readiness to resolve the dispute
with Azerbaijan through talks. It urgedAzerbaijan to give up the
policy of confrontation and form an atmosphere of mutual trust that
would give a positiveimpulse to the efforts to find a solution to the
conflict.

The Karabakh parliament asked the world community to show
understanding to Karabakh’s desire "to become afull member of the
community of free states".

On 20 February 1988, a session of the Council of Deputies of the
Nagornyy Karabakh Autonomous Region declared itsecession from the
Azerbaijani Soviet Socialist Republic and its unification with the
Armenian Soviet SocialistRepublic, Kavkazskiy Uzel said.

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