Armenia’s Security Council Meets to Discuss Georgia Conflict

YEREVAN (Combined Sources)–Armenia’s President Serzh Sarkisian called a meeting of the National Security Council on Friday to discuss the situation in Georgia and its wider ramifications on Armenia and the region.

The President expressed concern about the unfolding situation in Georgia, underscoring that the problem must be solved peacefully without the use of military action.

Solving the conflict militarily will lead to tragic consequences for the entire region, Sarkisian remarked, pointing to the difficulties Armenia has been faced with since the outbreak of fighting on August 7.

Noting that Armenia is a strategic ally of Russia and a friend of Georgia, Sarkisian said Yerevan is very interested in a quick resolution to the conflict and is ready to provide humanitarian aide to Georgia and South Ossetia.

President Serzh Sarkisian had two separate phone conversation with his Georgian counterpart, Mikheil Saakashvili, Friday. During his first call to Saakashvili, Sarkisian expressed his condolences for the deaths of hundreds of Georgians and offered humanitarian aid to Georgia. Sarkisian called Saakasvhili again following an explosion on a key Georgian railway bridge that severed the two South Caucasus states’ main trade link with the outside world. “The President of Georgia promised to make every effort to have the bridge restored as soon as possible,” Sarkisian’s office said in a statement.

The Armenian Embassy in Georgia said on Friday that it has not received reports on Armenian citizens having been killed or wounded as a result of the conflict in Georgia. “We don’t have information about any Armenian casualties,” the Embassy is quoted as saying. “In the name of the Armenian community in Georgia I can say that there are no victims but there are Armenian refugees from Gory and other villages.”

Since the outbreak of fighting in Georgia, about 5,000 Armenian citizens and 3,000 foreign citizens and diplomats have been evacuated to Armenia. According to the Armenian Ministry of Territorial Governing, eight South Ossentians and 16 Armenian citizens of Georgia have already asked the Armenian Authorities for temporary refugee status in the country.

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