YEREVAN (RFE/RL) —President Serzh Sarkisian on Monday joined world leaders in strongly condemning the weekend shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida which left 50 people dead and dozens of others wounded.
Sarkisian sent his condolences to U.S. President Barack Obama in connection with the worst mass shooting in U.S. history which he described as “horrific.”
In a statement on the letter to Obama, Sarkisian’s press office said: “The President of the Republic strongly condemned this outrageous instance of intolerance and stressed that this tragedy that befell the friendly American people once again proved that even in the 21st century all manifestations of hatred…remain an extremely serious challenge facing humankind.”
On Sunday evening, Armenians and Americans in Yerevan hosted a candlelight vigil in memory of American Embassy at 8:30pm for a candlelight vigil in memory of the victims of the Orlando attack and in solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community
It is “everyone’s collective duty and mission” to confront that challenge, Sarkisian wrote.
The FBI identified the gunman responsible for massacre as 29-year-old Omar Mateen, a U.S.-born citizen of Afghan descent. Mateen was shot dead by police who stormed into Pulse nightclub three hours after the killing spree began there.
Just before the shooting spree, he reportedly called an emergency police-dispatch operator and swore allegiance to the so-called Islamic State (IS) militant group.
Obama called the attack “an act of terror and an act of hate.”