MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS
28 October 1999
Assassination of Armenian Prime Minister
I condemn the assassination of the Armenian Prime Minister, Vazgen Sarkissian, who was shot by gunmen in an attack on the Armenian Parliament on Thursday 27 October in which eight other people were killed and hostages detained.
I express my deepest sympathy to the relatives and friends of those who died in this pointless and cowardly action. Vicious acts of violence of this kind severely undermine the integrity of the state and gravely weaken democracy.
Armenia has faced a difficult and turbulent period in its political and economic development. The progress that had been made towards achieving internal stability and securing a brighter political and economic future for the people of Armenia has now been badly setback.
I am personally saddened that among the victims was the Speaker of the Armenian Parliament, Karen Demirchian, who was to have visited Australia next year as a guest of the Australian Parliament.
Australia values its relations with Armenia and hopes that the present crisis will be resolved as soon as possible so that the Armenian people can live in democracy and peace free of the kind of violence that has just taken place.
Ministerial - Innes Willox (02) 6277 7500
Departmental - Mark Croxford (02) 6261 1555
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