Armenia deeply concerned about ongoing clashes in Syria: FM Nalbandian says in Damascus

“We are deeply concerned about the ongoing clashes in Syria, the humanitarian crisis and the disasters resulting from the terrorists’ operations here,” Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian said, speaking at a joint press conference in Damascus with his Syrian counterpart Walid al-Moallem.

He said Armenia has, since the beginning of the crisis in Syria, constantly raised the issue of prohibiting support to the terrorists and the need of finding an immediate solution to the situation in the Middle East, at various international forums.

“We will continue to keep these issues at the center of the international community’s concerns,” he added.

Nalbandian noted that his visit to Syria this year in particular bears a symbolic meaning, as a hundred years ago the Ottoman Empire committed genocide against a million and a half Armenians.

“The Syrian deserts became the last refuge for the hundreds of thousands of Genocide victims. The Syrian people extended a helping hand to our compatriots that escaped the Genocide. For them Syria became a refuge and a second Motherland,” Minister Nalbandian noted.

“Impunity results in new crimes, evidences of which are the cruel crimes terrorists commit today. We are witnessing new brutality and barbarism, which force millions of Syrians, including thousands of Armenians to become displaced again,” he said.

The Minister said that even the Armenian Genocide Martyrs’ Memorial Church in Deir Ez-Zor, which housed the remains of genocide victims, didn’t escape the barbaric crimes of extremists, forming a symbolic link between the crimes against humanity of the past and of the present.

Nalbandian asserted that the condition of civilians in Syria, including Armenians and other minorities, is an issue of great and constant concern for his country, thanking the Syrian authorities for the care they have shown for Armenians and their cultural heritage.

Minister Nalbandian said “we are confident it’s possible to overcome the crisis and establish peace by topping the violence and starting a constructive dialogue that will take into consideration the interests of all  parties, all Syrians.”