March 24, 2007 - 15:58 AMT PanARMENIAN.Net
- After the launch of second Iraqi campaign more than 3 000 Armenians left the country, head of National Management of Armenians in Iraq Paruyr Hakopian stated. "Four years have passe since the launch of military campaign in Iraq by Coalition forces. And I confirm with certainty that the number of Armenians who have immigrated abroad does not exceed this mark," he noted. Mr. Hakopian said four years ago there were 18 000 Armenians in Iraq and now only 15 000 of them live in the country. Generally during the past 4 years 1500 Armenians immigrated to Syria, about 1000 arrived in Armenia and about 500 departed for Jordan," he stressed.
Hakopian also underlined that during four years 28 representatives of Armenian community died in Iraq. "This is our information and surely I am responsible for it to every single community member. All those who died were not servicemen they were ordinary people of Iraq who did not have any relation to military actions. During the same period 28 Armenians were kidnapped, 25 of which were returned after paying ransom, they returned to their families. Fates of other two people are still unknown, the body of the third captive was returned to his family," Hakopian underscored.
At the same time he noted that the Armenian community
of Iraq does not experience any significant problems. "We do not run for participation in political life of Iraq, Armenians living in Iraq traditionally deal with trade, craft and construction. Before the second campaign there were a lot of physicians, teachers of Armenian origin in Iraq," Hakopian said.
He noted Armenians in Iraq absolutely do not have any problems with either authorities or population of the country. "The same was during Saddam Hussein's reign, the same is now," he told, "Novosti-Armenia" reports.