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Sarkisian Slams ‘Regional States’ Over Syria Strife


Lebanon - President Michel Suleiman (L) and his visiting Armenian counterpart, Serzh Sarkisian, inspect an honor guard outside the presidential palace in Beirut, 28Nov2012.

Lebanon - President Michel Suleiman (L) and his visiting Armenian counterpart, Serzh Sarkisian, inspect an honor guard outside the presidential palace in Beirut, 28Nov2012.

President Serzh Sarkisian accused unspecified “regional states” of stoking the bloody conflict in Syria during an official visit to neighboring Lebanon that ended on Wednesday.

“We are deeply concerned about the fate of the Syrian people,” Sarkisian told Lebanese parliament speaker Nabih Berri and other lawmakers late on Tuesday. “Continuous armed clashes and terrorist acts are simply unacceptable. One cannot watch without pain the ongoing bloodshed and watch the country being destructed day after day.”

“I am convinced that the existing situation is also a result of the fact that some regional states are not averse to solving their issues with the blood of the Syrian people. Armenia has always advocated an end to the bloodshed and a peaceful resolution of the conflict by the Syrians themselves,” he said in a speech.

Although Sarkisian did not name any country, his remarks are likely to be construed as a verbal attack on Turkey, which has openly sided with Syrian opposition groups fighting against President Bashar Al-Assad’s regime. The latter has accused Ankara of contributing to the bloodshed by providing logistical support to the Syrian rebels.

Sarkisian warned earlier this month that “external interference” in the Syrian civil war could prove “counterproductive.” “Recipes that worked in other circumstances could cause tragic consequences in Syria,” he told the French daily “Le Figaro” in remarks that appeared also addressed to Western powers and Arab states at odds with the Syrian regime.

Armenia is one of the few countries that still have functioning diplomatic missions in Syria. Unlike much of the international community, its leadership has avoided blaming the Damascus government for the conflict, a stance that reflects security risks facing tens of thousands of ethnic Armenians living in the Middle Eastern nation.

Sarkisian mentioned the plight of the community in is speech, saying that the Syrian Armenians are now “going through hard times.” “We urge our Armenian brothers in Syria to struggle for the speedy re-establishment of peace in Syria – their second motherland which had once received them with open hearts,” he said.

According to the presidential press office, Sarkisian discussed the situation in Syrian in his talks in Beirut with Lebanon’s President Michel Suleiman and Prime Minister Najib Mikati. He also addressed the issue at a meeting with representatives of Lebanon’s influential Armenian community.
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