“We will not let anybody take hostage our country, to shatter our statehood. In Armenia, problems will not be solved by means of arms and violence. Yerevan is not Beirut or Aleppo. We will not let anybody bring Cold-War solutions from the Middle East to Armenia. Let those unaware look at the consequences of the civil war in Lebanon or the continuing conflict in Syria and draw conclusions,” Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan said during a meeting with government officials, artists, doctors, journalists, politicians and clergymen.
He was glad to note that the situation created as a result of the seizure of a Yerevan-based police office by a group of armed people had been settled.
“We have settled it in the most acceptable way. Our National Security Service, police and interior ministry troops have forced the group to lay down arms and to surrender. I am pleased that we have managed to avoid standard solutions. We have two deaths and lots of injuries. Our authorities did their best to avoid human casualties and I am grateful to them for their efforts. Composure and generosity are signs of professionalism and self-reliance,” Sargsyan said.
“Now we need a detailed investigation. Everybody will answer for his actions before the law. We will not allow any revenge. All of our steps will be in line with our constitution. It is time for us to draw conclusions. The analysis will take a long time but one thing is clear: we need urgent public and political reforms. We must root out the tragic attitude that problems can and must be solved by means of force. We have no right to allow this as this may ruin our country,” Sargsyan said.
He thanked all politicians who showed political wisdom and realized the inadmissibility of this situation. “Unlike some short-sighted politicians, they perfectly know the difference between political competition and national security. Such situations often serve as an acid test for politicians,” Sargsyan said.
“Any person is free not to like his government and president, he is free to oppose their policies, but this is not a ground for anybody to make heroes of those trying to solve problems by means of arms. Governments change one another, but once you start encouraging terrorism, it turns into cancer and starts destroying all you have created. We must root this out. Dear people, dear youths! Encouragement of terrorism is a deadly sin. Keep away from it! Let’s say no to terrorism. Let’s say no for the sake of our homeland, our people, our future generations. Let’s say no to this cancer! Let’s shrug it off forever!” Sargsyan said.
He stressed the need for a government of national accord. “When carrying out our constitutional reforms, we had this very aim in mind. This is not about an attempt by people who are not in power to come into it, this is about wider public responsibility. I assure you that in a few months we will have such a government, where political parties and political figures will have a bigger role. I am talking about political figures rather than those resorting to terror and those supporting them. We have enough reasonable politicians. And this is our political wealth,” Sargsyan said.