Wednesday, August 27, 2008

First President of Abkhazia congratulates Abkhaz people on recognition of independence

Первый президент Абхазии поздравил народ с днем признания Независимости

The first president of Abkhazia Vladislav Ardzinba congratulated the people of Abkhazia on their recognition of independence. Here is his full statement of congratulations:

"My dear compatriots! The day August 26, 2008 will forever be remembered in the history of our country as a major milestone marking this truly epoch-making event--the recognition of the independence of the Republic of Abkhazia. In order to realize a century of expectations and hopes that our people might one day know free existence and development, we had to endure the distressful and thorny road of national-liberation struggle. The burden of this heavy ordeal has been carried on the shoulders of many generations for the sake of freedom and independence. Many true patriots of our homeland have sacrificed their lives for this sacred struggle. During 1992 and 1993, when the Georgian aggressors tried to destroy our statehood, hundreds, thousands of worthy sons of the Abkhaz people stood up to defend our Fatherland. And in this struggle we were aided by many volunteers from our sister republics in the North Caucasus. The South of Russia, our foreign compatriots. The domestic war of the Abkhaz people ended with the exile of the Georgian occupiers from the territory of our republic. We admire the memory of everyone who put their lives before the altar of victory!

Today, the multinational people of Abkhazia celebrate one more great victory. We are inspired by the courageous and wise decision made by the political leadership of Russia. The declaration of the President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Anatolevich Medvedev recognizing South Ossetia and Abkhazia is in full accordance with international laws and norms. I am confident that soon we will hear of similar decisions from a number of other states. From the bottom of my heart I congratulate the people of Abkhazia and our brothers in South Ossetia, who endured all the horrors of Georgian aggression, on this long-awaited victory. Abkhazians and Ossetians are ancient indigenous ethnic groups of the Caucasus whose history and culture go back a long ways. Their right to sovereignty and political self-determination is supported by the centuries-old tradition of statehood. I warmly congratulate the peoples of the Republic of Abkhazia and the Republic of South Ossetia on the recognition of independence! I pray for peace and prosperity for our states. Peace, stability, and well-being for the entire Caucasus and Russian Federation!

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