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Wednesday, October 27, 1999 Published at 18:45 GMT 19:45 UK

World: Europe

World leaders condemn Armenia killing

President Yeltsin expressed his "deep anger"

The Russian and American presidents have led the chorus of anger to greet the killing of politicians in the Armenian parliament by gunmen.

President Boris Yeltsin expressed his "deep anger" and "sharp condemnation of the actions of the terrorists".

According to the Interfax news agency, President Yeltsin has instructed the Russian ambassador in Yerevan to convey his "deepest sympathies" and condolences to all those who had suffered "as a result of this barbarous act".

President Yeltsin was also quoted as saying there was a need "to curb decisively all manifestations of terrorism, wherever they happened," stressing Russia's readiness for "close co-operation on this issue with all concerned parties" .

Senseless act

[ image: Clinton:
Clinton: "The victims and their families are in our thoughts and prayers."
US President Bill Clinton condemned "this senseless act against individuals actively engaged in building democracy in their country".

And he said their thoughts and prayers were with the victims and their families.

"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," President Clinton said.

A UK Foreign Office spokesman said: "This is clearly a terrible blow for Armenia after gaining independence in 1991 and after efforts to build up a democracy. We do not condone terrorism."

President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan sent a telegram of condolences to his counterpart in Armenia, Robert Kocharian.

'Barbaric' act

It said, news of the "barbaric" incident had been received "with shock and indignation".

The president of Kazakhstan emphasised that this "monstrous crime once again demands that we join efforts to step up the uncompromising fight against terrorism which threatens people's stability, creative work and peaceful life", the president's office said.

Turkey's Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit expressed his concern that the attack could increase instability in the Caucasus region.

Nagorno-Karabakh link

[ image: Ecevit:
Ecevit: "Many possibilities come to mind."
"This is an extremely sad and worrying event," Anatolia news agency quoted Mr Ecevit as saying.

"I say worrying because there were already dark developments in the Caucasus region. The atmosphere is tense. Now this atmosphere may become even more tense."

Prime Minister Ecevit did not rule out a connection between the attack and negotiations to resolve the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh.

"Many possibilities come to mind. A process of dialogue has started that gives signs of hope between Azerbaijan and Armenia. Is it a reaction to that or not? I don't know," Mr Ecevit was quoted as saying.

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