President-elect of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) Arayik Haroutyunyan delivered a speech during his oath taking ceremony in Shushi.
In his speech, he particularly stated the following:
“When freedom fighters and I were seizing the desired peak of Shushi with the self-defense forces of Artsakh 28 years ago, we had the dream of seeing Artsakh united with Armenia, meaning we had the dream of seeing a united and free Homeland. Today, it is time to have new dreams and turn them into a reality. It is time to think about shaping a powerful homeland, to dream and take action to ensure good and dignified conditions for life of the people.
I am taking an oath with the memory of the sons of the Armenian nation who provided us with the opportunity to dream and take action, and I am taking an oath to do my best as President of Artsakh to properly perform my functions and help turn other dreams of the Armenian nation into reality.
The Artsakh movement was one of the glorious victories of the Armenian people, and the spotlight was the operations that were performed for the liberation of Shushi. I hope the next real session of the National Assembly is held in Shushi. There is a wish to move the National Assembly to Shushi, and we will take steps in this direction.
Mr. President, allow me to express my deep gratitude to you for your great service provided to the homeland and consistent efforts and for the opportunity that you gave me to provide my service. I consider this period the most thriving period in the history of Artsakh.
In this context, I would also like to express gratitude to Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan, who, in this short period of time, not only made great efforts for the social and economic development of Artsakh and increase of the level of security, but is also willing to ensure significant participation in the implementation of future projects. Mr. Prime Minister, I would like to assure you that Artsakh supports the mother homeland, and I am ready to share with you all the hardships to solve the issues and challenges facing our united homeland.
The following principles underlie our activities: man is the highest value, and the State is an institution serving that highest value; the security, independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity of the united homeland of Armenians and the national dignity of the Armenians are not up for bargain; rule of law and equality of everyone must be a benchmark in all social relations; there is no alternative to democratic governance; the ultimate goal of a social state is to ensure universal welfare and social justice; universal issues need to be solved through collective and harmonious efforts and responsibility; one of the guarantees of our achievements is internal solidarity.
Dear compatriots, I look forward to working constructively and in solidarity with literally everyone. From this podium, I am extending a hand for solidarity and cooperation with all of my compatriots.
As President of Artsakh, I no longer have opponents or partisans. I merely have constitutional obligations before everyone and the conviction that I must not fail.
I would like to end my speech with gratitude, apology and an oath.
I thank all the great ancestors of the Armenian nation for their work and efforts, starting from servicemen and ending with public servants. I apologize to everyone for my mistakes and omissions while serving the homeland and the disappointment I have caused. I swear by our great ancestors, heroic Armenians, the future generations and the dreams of the nation that I will do my best as President of Artsakh.
We Armenians swear often. Here I would like to recall what I vowed to my brother, Samvel, who died on February 13, 1988. My elder brother, Armen is here, and he was serving in the Soviet army at the time. When the Karabakh movement began, on the first day (February 13), Samvel, who was three years older than me, asked me if I was ready to sacrifice my life for the homeland. I told him I was ready, and we both vowed. He fulfilled his vow, but I haven’t fulfilled it yet.
Long live the glorious Armenian people, long live the great forefathers of the Armenian nation who shaped the sacred homeland and values for us, long live the Republic of Artsakh, the Republic of Armenia and the Armenian Diaspora, long live the future generations of Armenians who will live in a free, independent, powerful, happy and united Armenia.
In closing, I would like to say that Artsakh is Armenia, period.”