Gunmen should lay down arms, free hostages, Armenia’s President says – Video

President Serzh Sargsyan held consultations with the heads of the National Security Service, Police, Prosecutor’s Office and investigative bodies. The details of the armed attack on the premises of the patrol service of RA Police and the following developments, the results of the measures taken were discussed.

The President stressed that all possible measures should be taken to reach a peaceful settlement of the situation, attached importance to the comprehensive and unbiased investigation of all violations of law and stressed the inevitability of punishment of those guilty.

“Our country is living hard and responsible days today. I will not refer to the reasons now. It’s not the right time. What I want to say is that this should be a lesson to all of us,” President Sargsyan said at the beginning of the meeting.

He expressed condolences to the family and friends of Police Colonel Arthur Vanoyan killed in the attack. “It’s our duty to do our best to settle this complex situation and exclude reoccurrence of such tragedies,” he said.

“Our most dangerous concern – solution of issues through violence and force – lies at the roots of this situation. The further development of this concern is fraught with very dangerous consequences for our country and statehood,” he said.

“In Armenia issues are not being solved through force, attacks and hostage-taking. We’ll never allow that. The settlement of this situation should be an important test for Armenia and its people, the maturity of our state,” President Sargsyan added.

He urged all representatives of the society to exercise their political and civilian rights exceptionally for peaceful purposes and within the framework of law. He also called to refrain from giving tribute to the proposals and ideas of people inciting radical steps and provocations. “It’s fraught with a serious danger of new human losses.”

The President instructed the heads of law enforcement bodies to continue implementing their actions with strict restrain and in full compliance with the law.

“We keep taking all measures to reach a final peaceful settlement of the situation,” the President said, once again urging the armed group to lay down arms as soon as possible.

“We have been acting and will keep acting very patiently. The life and health of every citizen is dear to us. We have not opted for the classical way of dealing with such situations, thus providing the armed group with an opportunity to make a step back,” the President said.

He added, however, that “we do not have the right to let our society become a hostage of this tension.”

“I think the situation is lasting longer that we can afford. The period since April has not been long enough for our society to afford to forget those events,” he added.

President Sargsyan once again called for soberness and restraint for the sake of the Republic of Armenia, for the sake of the future of the Armenian people.

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