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New Armenian Foreign Minister Named


Armenia - Newly appointed Foreign Minister Ara Ayvazian.

Career diplomat Ara Ayvazian was appointed as Armenia’s new foreign minister on Wednesday.

President Armen Sarkissian signed a relevant decree, initiated by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian, two days after the resignation of Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanian.

Pashinian announced on Monday that he has decided to sack Mnatsakanian. The latter insisted, however, that he himself tendered his resignation. He gave no reason for the move.

Earlier on Monday, Armenian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Anna Naghdalian publicly contradicted Pashinian’s comments regarding Shushi (Shusha), Nagorno-Karabakh’s second largest city captured by Azerbaijani forces during the recent war.

The prime minister claimed that peace proposals made by U.S., Russian and French mediators in recent years called for the restoration of Azerbaijani control over Shushi.

“The issue of giving up [Karabakh Armenian control of] Shushi was not raised during any stage of the peace process,” Naghdalian said in a short statement.

One of Mnatsakanian’s deputies, Shavarsh Kocharian, also stepped down following a Russian-mediated ceasefire that stopped the bloody war in Karabakh.

Ayvazian also served as deputy foreign minister before being named to replace Mnatsakanian. The 51-year-old was appointed to that position as recently as on October 16. He had previously worked as Armenia’s ambassador to Mexico and various European countries.

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