Vatican Secretary Of State Postpones Visit To Armenia


Catholic News Agency
March 3 2008

Vatican City, Mar 3, 2008 / 11:48 am (CNA).- The political situation
in Armenia has become unstable following post-election riots broke
out between opposition leaders and government forces on Sunday. In
lieu of the developments, the Vatican’s Secretary of State decided
on Sunday to postpone his trip to the country.

Cardinal Bertone was due to visit the former Soviet republic March 2-6,
but following the declaration of a state of emergency by President
Robert Kocharian, the trip has been postponed. Hundreds of troops
swarmed into Armenia’s capital on Sunday to enforce a state of
emergency after initial clashes between opposition activists and
government forces left eight people dead and more than 100 injured.

The bloodshed over the results of last month’s presidential election
is the worst political crisis to hit this volatile former Soviet
republic in nearly a decade.

President Robert Kocharian declared the 20-day state of emergency
Saturday night after a day of violence between police and
demonstrators. The protestors claim that elections which took place
on Feb. 19 were fraudulently won by Prime Minister Serge Sarkisian.

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