YEREVAN (A.W.)—Armenian President Serge Sarkisian said the country’s problems “will not be solved through violence, attacks, or hostage taking” during a July 22 meeting with the heads of the National Security Service, police, prosecutor’s office, and investigative bodies.
In the meeting, Sarkisian emphasized that to achieve a peaceful resolution of the ongoing hostage situation at the Yerevan police station, it is necessary to “take all available means” and to conduct a “comprehensive and unbiased” investigation of all alleged violations of the law.
“The resolution of this standoff will become the most serious test for Armenia, for our society, and the maturity of our state. I urge the armed people, who have occupied the territory of the police headquarters, to show restraint and not endanger the lives of others with their reckless moves. Hostages must be released,” Sarkisian said, adding that the armed group must also surrender their weapons.
In a statement released by the president’s press office, Sarkisian said that authorities will continue to be patient when dealing with the hostage-takers. “We have been and we will be patient; life and health of every citizen of our country is precious to us. In this situation, we have not taken the ‘traditional’ route. We have given the armed group an opportunity to take a step back. I hope they will come to [their] senses. However, we will not allow to make our entire society a hostage of this tense situation,” Sarkisian said.