EU Special Representative to Visit Yerevan
Azerbaijan, Baku, 3 March / Trend corr K. Ramazanova, E. Huseynov/ The EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus Peter Semneby will visit Armenia due to the on-going situation in the country which occurred after the presidential elections, Semneby told Trend on 3 March.
"The visit will began today because of the announcement of an emergency situation in Yerevan," Semneby said in a telephone conversation from Brussels. He did not go into details about his visit.
On the morning of 2 March, the President Robert Kocheryan declared an emergency situation in Armenia. This has been caused by continuous demonstrations by the supporters of the presidential candidate Levon Ter-Petrosian, who accuses the authorities of gerrymandering during the elections.
On 1 March, the dispersal of demonstration by the police resulted in confrontation. According to the Armenian Health Ministry, the number of victims of the riots which took place in Yerevan on 1 March totalled 131, and eight of them have died from gunshot wounds.
On 2 March, the EU High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana said EU countries are concerned about the emergency situation in Yerevan. He called on all sides to show restraint in order to normalize the situation. "Talks with the opposition should be resumed, for that is the only way forward," he said.
On 1 March Semneby said that the EU is concerned about the confrontation involving the part of the opposition which protests against the results of the elections. "We are concerned about the tensions. In such a situation there is always the threat of one wrong step followed by escalation," Semneby said.
According to the EU Representative, the EU's position is that differences should become the subject of serious discussions, and the issues should be solved through dialogue.
"Responsibility and prevention of further escalation is important for both sides in this situation," he said.