29 Oct 2019 09:40

Pashinyan says he discussed with Putin security of ethnic Armenians in Syria's Qamishli

MOSCOW. Oct 29 (Interfax) - Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said that Russian President Vladimir Putin and he had discussed ways to ensure the security of ethnic Armenians who live in the city of Qamishli in northern Syria.

"The city of Qamishli is in the north of Syria. It is home to around 3,000 Armenians. I discussed this matter with the president of Russia. We had this concern, and I asked the president of Russia to do everything possible to accommodate the interest of Armenians specifically in Qamishli. Tensions were running extremely high there at that time due to Turkey's invasion," Pashinyan said in an interview published in the Russian newspaper Kommersant on Tuesday.

Pashinyan also said that he subsequently thanked Putin "for making sure that the security interests of the Armenians living in this sector were taken into account on the whole."

"We hope that the agreements that have been achieved will be put into practice and the security interests of the Armenians will continue to be observed," he said.

"Russia has a substantial presence in Syria," Pashinyan said.

"Its role in ensuring security there is quite high. Russia has multiple levers to help ensure the Armenians' security. Armenia also has its mission in Syria. But our mission is of a humanitarian nature, and it is not related to security issues in any way. But we are very glad that we are pursuing such a humanitarian mission," the Armenian prime minister said.