Four Armenian nationals were among hundreds of foreigners due to be evacuated by Russia from Libya on Wednesday, Armenia’s Foreign Ministry said.
Ministry spokesman Tigran Balayan said they will be flown to Moscow on board one of the Russian Emergencies Ministry planes sent to Tripoli to evacuate thousands of Russians trapped in the unrest-stricken country.
“The plane will land at Moscow’s Domodedovo airport. A representative of the Armenian Embassy [in Moscow] will meet them there,” Balayan told RFE/RL’s Armenian service. They will then return to Yerevan, he said.
According to Balayan, the Foreign Ministry, which has no diplomatic missions in Libya, came into contact with the four Armenians late last week. He said it then asked Moscow to let them take refuge at the Russian Embassy in Tripoli and help them leave the country.
No organized Armenian community is known to exist in Libya. Neighboring Egypt, by contrast, is home to an estimated 8,000 ethnic Armenians. A small proportion of them reportedly holds Armenian passports.
Father Gabriel Sargsian, a priest at the North Africa diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church, said none of the Egyptian Armenians was killed or injured in the recent popular uprising that toppled the country’s longtime President Hosni Mubarak. Speaking to RFE/RL’s Armenian service from Cairo, Sargsian said only several shops owned by Armenians were looted during the unrest.