Armenia To Repatriate Citizens From Iran Amid Coronavirus Outbreak
By RFE/RL's Armenian Service February 25, 2020
YEREVAN -- Armenia will repatriate dozens of its citizens from Iran, one of the countries hardest hit by the new coronavirus outbreak outside China.
"A flight is scheduled for February 26 to return Armenian citizens to their homeland," Arsen Avagyan of the Armenian Foreign Ministry said on February 25.
Avagyan, who heads the ministry's department for neighboring countries, said that a total of 65 Armenian citizens, including some with dual citizenship, had contacted the Armenian Embassy in Tehran to be repatriated.
He did not provide any other details.
Armenia has registered no cases of the coronavirus, which has infected more than 80,000 people globally, causing around 2,700 deaths, mainly in China.
Iran reported 95 cases, with 15 deaths -- the highest death toll outside China.
On February 24, Armenia partially closed its border with Iran and suspended flights between the two countries for two weeks as a precautionary measure to prevent of the spread of the coronavirus.
However, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian insisted that Armenian and Iranian nationals won't be prevented from returning to their respective countries.
"We are talking about citizens of Iran who are currently in Armenia and Armenian citizens who are currently in Iran. They are free to return to their homelands," Pashinian said.
Copyright (c) 2020. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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