ARMENIAN COMMUNITIES IN EGYPT AND SYRIA ENDANGERED - EXPERT
8 April 2011
YEREVAN. -- The latest developments in the Arab world will affect the Armenian communities in Egypt and Syria, which raises a serious cause for concern, the Diaspora expert Eduard Melkonyan told journalists on Friday.
The Armenian community in Egypt that comprises about 6,000 people mostly residing in Cairo and Alexandria was neutral during the Egypt unrest.
"In any case, the 6,000-strong Armenian community could not play a decisive role in the recent developments. They are now waiting for further developments," Melkonyan said.
As regards Syria, the situation is different there. Overall, 80,000 Armenians are residing in Syria, mostly in Aleppo, Damascus, Latakia and Al Qamishli, northeastern Syria.
"From the very first days the Armenian community sided with the authorities and showed loyalty. Such behavior is natural as the Armenian community enjoys all the benefits and had no reasons for discontent with the authorities," he said.
The most dangerous is that it is the national minorities that are the first to be affected by any instability in countries.
"In this context, the Armenian communities' future in Egypt and Syria may be endangered as no one would forecast further developments now," the expert said.