YEREVAN — Armenia’s government is evacuating at least 70 Armenian citizens from coronavirus-hit Turkey in coordination with Turkish and Georgian authorities, the Foreign Ministry in Yerevan said on Thursday.

Three buses carrying them left Istanbul on Wednesday morning and were due to reach Armenia via Georgia early on Friday.

“The transportation was agreed with relevant Turkish and Georgian authorities whose assistance is appreciated,” the Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Anna Naghdalyan, said in written comments to the Armenpress news agency.

Naghdalyan said that just like Armenians returning from other countries, all of the evacuees will be placed in a two-week quarantine on their arrival in Armenia.

One of them, Gagik Musheghyan, confirmed that the Armenian government paid for the bus service.

“The Armenian authorities have helped us a lot,” Musheghyan told RFE/RL’s Armenian service by phone. “They’ve paid our bus fares, they’ve covered all our expenses.”

“The buses will pass through a transit corridor in Georgia and enter Armenia through the Bagratashen crossing,” he said.

It was not clear whether more Armenians living and working in Turkey will be repatriated in the coming days. According to Naghdalyan, about 100 of them have so far contacted Armenia’s Foreign Ministry for the purpose of their possible evacuation.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip reportedly expressed readiness to assist in the repatriation of Armenian citizens when he spoke to the spiritual leader of Turkey’s ethnic Armenian community, Patriarch Sahak Mashalian, on Wednesday.

According to the Armenian Patriarchate of Istanbul, Erdogan also said that Ankara is ready to provide Yerevan with medicines that could be used for treating coronavirus.

Commenting on the reported offer, Naghdalyan said: “As a third party, we will refrain from commenting on unofficial information. In any case, such information is not on our agenda.”

The Turkish authorities have reported more than 38,000 coronavirus cases and 812 deaths resulting from them so far.

Armenia and Turkey do not have diplomatic relations. Successive Turkish governments have kept the border between the two neighboring states closed because of the unresolved conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sign Up for Our Newsletters

Get notified of the latest updates from MassisPost.

You May Also Like

HRW Critical Report on Armenia: Excessive Police Force, Stun Grenades, Beatings; Protesters, Journalists Injured

YEREVAN – Armenian police used excessive force against peaceful protesters on July…

Armenia Records Significant Changes in Positive Peace Index

Armenia ranks 54th in the Positive Peace Index (PPI), according to Positive…

Unseen Armenia – Herher and the Vayotssar Volcano Church

By Hovsep Daghdigian Herher is a village in Vayots Dzor marz (“Valley…

Kardashian Sisters Announce Plans for First-Ever Trip to Armenia

LOS ANGELES — Kim Kardashian and her sisters Khloé and Kourtney will…