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DATE=11/2/1999 TYPE=EDITORIAL TITLE=EDITORIAL: POLITICAL VIOLENCE IN ARMENIA NUMBER=0-08514 CONTENT= THIS IS THE THIRD OF THREE EDITORIALS BEING RELEASED FOR BROADCAST 11/2/99. Anncr: The Voice of America presents differing points of view on a wide variety of issues. Next, an editorial expressing the policies of the United States Government: Voice: Political violence recently struck at the rule of law in Armenia. Gunmen seized control of the Armenian parliament on October 27th. Eight people were killed, including Prime Minister Vazgen Sarksyan [vahs-GIN sarks-ee-AHN], Speaker of the parliament Karen Demirchian [kah-RIN dem- ur-chee-AHN], Deputy Speaker Youri Bakshian [yuhr- ee bahk-shee-AHN], and government minister Leonard Petrosian [leh-uh-NARD pet-roh-see-AHN]. Fifty others were wounded in the attack. Millions of stunned Armenians watched on television as their country's leaders and top lawmakers were murdered or held hostage for eighteen hours. The terrorists are now in the hands of Armenian authorities. Since achieving its independence in 1991 from the Soviet Union, Armenia has suffered comparatively little of the political violence that has ravaged other newly independent states. In April 1998, U.S. embassy guards safely disarmed a hand grenade outside the residence of the U.S. ambassador. The perpetrators have not been identified. Last December, Deputy Minister of Defense Vahram Khokhoruni [VAH rahm HOHK-hoh-roon-ee] was shot to death outside his apartment in Yerevan [yer-ah- VAHN]. The investigation into that shooting continues. President Bill Clinton said that the murder of Prime Minister Sarksyan and other Armenian leaders was "a real blow to that country and to that region." He stressed that "the United States has built strong ties with Armenia, focused on helping the Armenian people build a prosperous, secure and democratic future." The struggle to establish Armenian democracy, after decades of totalitarian rule, has been difficult. And many Armenians believe that much more has to be done. But only through democratic institutions can the Armenian people achieve the freedom, security, and prosperity to which they are entitled. No nation or people is entirely safe from the threat of terrorism and political violence. But democracies around the world have consistently proven stronger than the enemies of democracy ever imagined. Armenia's democracy should be no different. Anncr: That was an editorial expressing the policies of the United States Government. If you have a comment, please write to Editorials, V-O-A, Washington, D-C, 20547, U-S-A. You may also comment at www-dot-voa-dot-gov-slash-editorials, or fax us at (202) 619-1043. 01-Nov-1999 15:04 PM EDT (01-Nov-1999 2004 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .

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