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Armenian Opposition Demands Meeting With Pashinian Amid Continued Karabakh Fighting


Lawmakers open the autumn session of the Armenian parliament, Yerevan, September 14, 2020.

The demand of the opposition parliamentarians comes amid conflicting reports from Nagorno-Karabakh where battles have been waged for a strategic town of Shushi (Shusha) near the region’s main city, Stepanakert.

The leaders of the two opposition factions in the Armenian parliament have demanded an immediate meeting with Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian as fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh continued on Monday morning, with Baku and the ethnic Armenian authorities in Stepanakert giving different accounts of overnight battles for a strategic town.

Prosperous Armenia’s Gagik Tsarukian and Bright Armenia’s Edmon Marukian issued a joint statement in which they reminded the prime minister about the request they made in late October for an urgent meeting of the Security Council with the participation of opposition lawmakers. They said Pashinian gave no official response to that request.

“Taking into account that fighting in Artsakh [the Armenian name for Nagorno-Karabakh] continues, we once again appeal to the prime minister with a demand for an immediate meeting with the parliamentary opposition factions,” the statement reads.

Azerbaijan on Sunday claimed to have taken control of the strategic town of Shushi (Shusha) sitting on a mountaintop some 10 kilometers south of Stepanakert and overlooking the region’s main city.

Official Yerevan has not confirmed the capture of Shushi by Azerbaijani forces. Defense Ministry spokesperson Shushan Stepanian said that battles near the town continued into Monday morning.

Meanwhile, Nagorno-Karabakh’s de facto ethnic Armenian leader Arayik Harutiunian said in a Facebook post on November 9 that earlier in the morning he inspected military positions defending Stepanakert. He said during the visit he talked to “[ethnic Armenian] Defense Army soldiers and volunteers who have, for more than a day, been resisting enemy bandits attacking the capital from Shushi.”

In a separate report today Nagorno-Karabakh’s Defense Army released the names of another 44 servicemen killed in action since the start of hostilities on September 27, which raises the total death toll among ethnic Armenian forces to 1,221.

Azerbaijan does not reveal its military casualties, considering them a wartime secret.

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