Armenia continues talks to release pilots in Equatorial Guinea

Armenia continues talks to release pilots arrested in Equatorial Guinea

9 Jul 04


A delegation from the Armenian Foreign Ministry is in Equatorial
Guinea at present to conduct negotiations on the conditions of
detention and the further fate of the detained Armenian pilots. Gamlet
Gasparyan, a spokesman of the Armenian Foreign Ministry told an
Arminfo correspondent this.

He said that for the time being the delegation is discussing with the
leadership of this African country ways of improving conditions for
and rendering medical assistance to the Armenian pilots. The spokesman
of the Armenian Foreign Ministry noted that as of 8 July there has not
been any information about the court trial. The Armenian delegation
has been in Malabo [capital of Equatorial Guinea] since the end of
June. The delegation is being led, as last time, by the Armenian
ambassador to Egypt, Samvel Manasaryan.

To recap, on 8 March the authorities of Equatorial Guinea arrested a
large group of people, including, as well as other foreigners, six
Armenian pilots. The Armenian pilots are accused of plotting to
overthrow the government of Equatorial Guinea. The Armenian pilots
deny the accusations entirely.

The Armenian delegation has already been in Malabo before. The
Armenian diplomats met the prime minister of Equatorial Guinea, the
minister of internal affairs and deputy minister of state security,
the prosecutor-general and the foreign minister. Messages from
Armenian President Robert Kocharyan and Catholicos of All Armenians
Garegin II urging the release of the Armenian pilots were handed to
the foreign minister of Equatorial Guinea.