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CBS Chief Executive George Cheeks has apologized to the Armenian ambassador after two CBS employees made offensive comments to protesters outside CBS Studios in Studio City earlier this week.

“All of us here want you to know that we respect your right for peaceful protest, and we apologize to you and the Armenian community for this experience outside our facility,” Cheeks wrote in an Oct. 13 letter to Ambassador Armen Baibourtian, the consul general, who is based in Glendale.

Cheeks’ apology comes amid demonstrations in Southern California in support of Armenia, which is engaged in a bloody battle with its neighbor Azerbaijan over a separatist region on the border between the former Soviet republics. The area is known as Nagorno-Karabakh, and Armenians call it Artsakh. In California, Armenian Americans have expressed dismay over some media coverage of the unrest 7,000 miles away; those frustrations have led to protests outside the Los Angeles Times headquarters and CNN’s bureau in Hollywood.

Last Sunday, tens of thousands of demonstrators aligned with Armenia marched through Los Angeles and rallied outside the Turkish Consulate in Beverly Hills. Neighboring Turkey is Azerbaijan’s ally in the war, inflaming old wounds among Armenians that date back more than 100 years to the Armenian genocide.

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