Domestic visits

“The commitment to our martyrs and their children is what matters most now” – Nikol Pashinyan Travels to Gegharkunik Marz

09.05.2021 - 09.05.2021

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Accompanied by Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces Artak Davtyan, Acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan visited Army Unit N in Gegharkunik Marz. On the occasion of the May 9 holiday, Nikol Pashinyan presented high state awards to a number of servicemen of the military units of the 2nd Army Corps for services rendered to Motherland: First-Degree Order of Battle Cross, Second-Degree Order of Battle Cross and St. Vardan Mamikonian Order.

Addressing those present, Nikol Pashinyan said:
“Generals and officers,
Warrant officers, sergeants, privates,

Today, we are holding an award ceremony in the 2nd Army Corps on the occasion of the Triple holiday of May 9th. It is no coincidence that the award ceremony is being held here, since the 2nd Army Corps was crowned with glory and stood out for its high combat capability during the 44-day war. The 2nd Army Corps retained the high honor of all of us, our army, our people and our history.

Many of our brothers fell, were wounded, many of them heroically stood up to defend the Motherland not only in the 2nd Army Corps, but also in the Armenian Army, in general. But today we celebrate the triple holiday with a feeling of bitterness and regret; there is the bitterness of defeat in our hearts, but God knows, during this time we spared nothing, absolutely nothing to defend the cause and glory of the heroes and martyrs of the liberation of Shushi.

And today we must stand just as steadfastly to protect the dream of our ancestors and generations, our Motherland, because the Republic of Armenia exists and will be standing ahead; while wounded, the Republic of Artsakh is standing and the Armenian people are standing. The Armenian nation continues and must continue its thousand-year march. The Armenian statehood, the Armenian army is the strongest pledge of our millennial march.

Yes, we must analyze and understand what we did wrong, where we made a mistake, where we did not show sufficient adherence to principles, but God is the witness that the Armenian army fought to the last as long as fighting had some perspective. However, it is also important that we did not lose our minds in that battle. It is important that we were able to make difficult decisions, including for the sake of our army, our generals, officers, soldiers, their families and children.

I would like to once again express my condolences to the families and friends of all our soldiers and officers who perished in the 44-day war. We bow to you, our duty to our martyrs is to build a strong, just, legal, proud and happy country. And we have no right to let the blood of our martyrs be shed in vain.

Our Motherland, its well-being, its development, its pride should become our greatest tribute to our martyrs. The Armenian heroic army stands at the forefront of our pride. I can say this with particular confidence in the 2nd Army Corps and in many military units and formations. We can say this with confidence.

The 2nd Army Corps has been awarded the First Degree Order of Battle Cross, an adequate tribute to the Army, all our military units, officers, privates, who are standing in their positions; this is our tribute to our martyrs. We thereby say: “Your cause has endured, our army has endured, our homeland has endured, and the future of your children, relatives and generations is alive.”

Glory to the Armenian Army!
Glory to the Armenian people,
Glory to the Republic of Armenia,
Glory to the Republic of Artsakh,
Long live the Armenian people!

Bowing to our martyrs, I congratulate all of us on the Victory in the Great Patriotic War!

Congratulations on the Triple Holiday! Congratulations to all of us on the future we must build together! And let no one doubt it.”

Nikol Pashinyan held a consultation with the 2nd Army Corps command to discuss the ongoing army reform. In conclusion, he answered their questions. 

* * *

Acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan visited Vardenis, Akunq, Tsovinar, Martuni, Vardadzor, Tsovak, Noratus and Lchashen communities in Gegharkunik Marz. Nikol Pashinyan met with the locals, talked about the situation in the country, the prospects and opportunities for economic development.

The meetings started with a minute of silence held in memory of those Armenians who fell in the 44-day war. In each community, Prime Minister Pashinyan read out the names of heroes born in those communities and visited the graves of perished servicemen. Nikol Pashinyan attended the unveiling of a monument to 44-day Artsakh war heroes in Vardadzor community.

Addressing the locals, the Acting Premier said:
“Dear people, I once said on TV that our troops fought a heroic battle during this war. And there was a question hanging in the air, how? The 2nd Army Corps is the brightest example thereof, since our army kept a strong defensive line from the 2nd Army Corps to the 9th Defense District, and with this in mind, we must honor our officers, soldiers and generals.

We need to understand why a breakthrough happened at the 9th defensive zone, which, unfortunately, was not stopped later. Today a primary task is to honor our commitment to our martyrs and children. We must build a developed and prosperous country. The Republic of Armenia must be a developed, prosperous country.

Yes, we have done a lot in recent years, but we have not managed to do much. Yes, we built roads, but we did not become millionaires because we built roads to build roads, we did not build roads to steal money. Yes, we built schools, we built kindergartens, but we did not become millionaires because we did not want to. Our goal was to serve the people.

Yes, we faced this catastrophe because we could not stop a process that had developed and reached its culmination, which would have imposed an unworthy solution to the Karabakh issue on our country and people. We fought to the last.

Yes, we fought desperately, just as our ancestors fought desperately in Avarayr, just as our ancestors fought desperately in Sardarapat. The army cannot fight without the rear front. And now I wish to pay tribute to all of you, because you kept the back of the heroic 2nd Army Corps. You stood up heroically for the defense of our homeland. In the meantime, a question came to be asked following the war whether the Turks are enemies or not. Of course, they are our enemies; it is a historical fact, but we need to manage that enmity for the sake of our martyrs, for the sake of our children. We must prevent enmity from spilling over and coming out of control in the region. I hope my people will accept this idea and support it.

Paruyr Sevak put it in a wonderful way in one of his poems: “We are few, but we are Armenians.” And he continues: “We fell, but we never knelt down.” Yes, we fell but we did not kneel in this war. And we will not kneel, but hostility needs to be managed. After all, we are responsible for the future of these children. We have done a lot in the past 30 years; we did both right and wrong things, but we have not shown enough responsibility to these children.

Yes, our Armed Forces must be reformed, our army must be much stronger than it was before the war. But we also have to build kindergartens for children, schools, stadiums.

Today we must first of all think about the physical health and psychological health of our rising generation. And first of all, we must not allow our children’s pride to be shattered, even in the aftermath of this war. And we must say the following: the Armenians are standing, Artsakh is standing, Armenia is standing and our country does have a future. And we must build that future together for the sake of these children. And the future is being created today.

We are implementing large-scale kindergarten projects and we will continue to implement them. I am happy that we have a formula that will allow us to continuously raise teachers’ salaries, but we do not do it only for teachers, we do it for children to be sure that the teacher who enters a classroom will teach in the best possible way and will constantly improve his / her professional skills.

Judiciary is the next issue, which is so often talked about. Yes, we have established justice in the Republic of Armenia. We have reinstated justice to the extent that our citizens know that they have a say in decision making, and that is the greatest justice. You are going to try us on June 20. You will judge us all. And I am convinced that the Armenian people will make a fair, worthy and just verdict.

I wish to state once again that today we have the least ever number of prisoners in Armenia. There have never been fewer people in Armenian prisons throughout the history of our country. What does that mean? This means that thousands of fathers are with their children today. That is the greatest justice. This means that there are no innocent people in Armenian prisons today. In other words, there are only people in prison who should be there legally, but we nevertheless treat them as our brothers.

For the first time in the history of the Third Republic, the prisoner eats the bread given by the state, because the state gives bread to the prisoner just because that is inherent in Christianity, in a Christian state, Christian government. There is such a saying in the Bible: “I was sick in prison, but you did not come to see me. I was in prison, but you did not call on me”

Any inmate can see today that the state keeps visiting them every day. And the state is helping them to return to normal life. This is justice, this is the greatest justice. Perhaps many should have been jailed, while they are at large today, but the point is that there are actually no innocent people in our prisons, and this is the greatest justice.

I wish to thank you first of all for being optimistic, not depressed. And I am convinced that by working together we will build our homeland; we will be able to manage hostility in our region, we will not allow hostility to come out of control.

Yes, we must ensure a peaceful future for our children. We must provide for a dignified peace, progress and prosperity. Thank you for concurring with this idea, because our children must live in a free, strong, happy Armenia

Thank you all. I bow to our martyrs and congratulate us all on the triple holiday. We are sad today, we think differently, but this is a good opportunity to think about ourselves and get to know ourselves better. We need to go through a process of self-reflection, which will definitely make us stronger for the sake of our martyrs, for the sake of our soldiers, for the sake of our children.”

In conclusion, Nikol Pashinyan lit candles at St. Astvatsatsin Church in Vardenis.

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