Armenia on Saturday strongly condemned a spate of terrorist attacks in Paris which left 129 people dead and expressed solidarity with the government and people of “brotherly” France.
“I am deeply shocked by news of last night’s unprecedented acts of terror in Paris,” President Serzh Sarkisian said in a letter of condolence sent to his French counterpart Francois Hollande. “I strongly condemn those outrageous attacks which have claimed many innocent lives.”
“In this difficult time, Armenia stands with brotherly France and is prepared to provide full support … Our prayers, hearts and souls are with the French people,” Sarkisian said amid a chorus of international condemnation of the worst terrorist attack in modern French history.
Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian issued a special statement in connection with the “barbaric” attacks by gunmen and suicide bombers that targeted a concert hall and several bars and restaurants in the French capital late on Friday.
“We express our condolences and support to the friendly people of France,” said Nalbandian. “The fight against terror is the fight of the whole civilized world.”
Sarkisian, who has repeatedly described Armenia’s relationship with France as “privileged,” similarly stressed the need for the international community to fight against “such appalling manifestations of extremism.” “We must not allow violence, extremism and intolerance to prevail,” he wrote to Hollande.
Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamian and parliament speaker Galust Sahakian also sent condolence letters to their French counterparts.
Later on Saturday, Sarkisian laid flowers in France Square in downtown Yerevan during a candlelight vigil held there for the victims of the Paris attacks. Hundreds of Armenians paid their respects to the victims before and after the official ceremony which was also attended by the French ambassador to Armenia, Jean-Francois Charpentier.
Traffic through the streets leadings to the square, decorated with French national flags on the occasion, remained closed in the following hours.
Scores of people also laid flowers and lit candles outside the French Embassy in Yerevan throughout the day.