Vatican Envoy Postpones Trip to Armenia

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) — A top Vatican envoy has postponed a visit to Armenia because of the unrest in the capital Yerevan, the Vatican said on March 2.

Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, who ranks only second to the pope in the Vatican hierarchy, had been due to leave later on Sunday and stay until March 6.

A Vatican statement said the trip was not canceled and could take place later.

The second leg of Bertone’s trip, to Azerbaijan from March 6-9, would go ahead as scheduled. Eight people were killed and 33 police injured in Armenia’s capital during overnight protests, which ended after the government declared a state of emergency and mobilized the army.

The state of emergency, effective until March 20, followed the worst unrest in a decade, sparked by opposition protests against a February 19 presidential election they said was rigged.