U.S. appalled by Armenia parliament shootings
October 27, 1999
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Clinton on Wednesday said he is "shocked and saddened by today's armed attacks in the Armenian parliament."
"I condemn this senseless act against individuals actively engaged in building democracy in their country. The victims and their families are in our prayers." Clinton said in the statement read by White House spokesman Joe Lockhart at a press briefing.
The president said in the statement that the United States has built strong ties with Armenia and that "at this time of tragedy, we renew our support for the Armenian people and their leaders as they continue to build on the principles that today's victims have so courageously embodied."
"We condemn this violence. We condemn this terrorist action," said State Department spokesman James Rubin said. "We extend our condolences to families of the victims."
Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott had left Yerevan, the Armenian capital, about an hour before the shootings.
Talbott met with Armenia's president, the prime minister and the foreign minister to talk about peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan and the issue of independence for Nagorno- Karabakh, an Armenian enclave in Azerbaijan.
"We have no reason to think this is any way related to Deputy Secretary Talbott's visit," said Rubin.
Rubin said Talbott did not notice anything wrong before he left.
"He had no indication of anything amiss before he left, as far as I know," Rubin said.
Talbott is now in Ankara, Turkey, from Yerevan.
Strong turnout as Armenians choose president
Parliament of Armenia (Armenian)
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