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Armenian President, PM Discuss Political Crisis


Armenia -- President Armen Sarkissian (L) and Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian meet in Yerevan, November 12, 2020.

President Armen Sarkissian and Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian met late on Thursday to discuss lingering political tensions in Armenia resulting from the recent war in Nagorno-Karabakh.

“The meeting focused on the situation in the country, the emerging challenges, the safety and defense of Armenia’s border communities, ongoing efforts to restore normal life in Artsakh and the Government’s support measures,” Pashinian’s office said in a short statement.

The presidential press service issued an identical statement on the meeting held amid continuing opposition protests against Pashinian’s rule.

With no other details reported, it was not clear if the two men reached any understandings on how to end the political crisis.

Sarkissian held earlier a series of consultations with the leaders of various Armenian political groups, including members of a coalition of more than a dozen opposition parties staging the protests in a bid to force Pashinian to step down.

The president, who has largely ceremonial powers, has repeatedly backed opposition demands for Pashinian’s resignation and the formation of an interim government that would hold snap general elections within a year. He has said that Armenia is in a “deep crisis.”

The prime minister has rejected these demands, dismissing the anti-government protests as an “elite revolt” not supported by most Armenians.

Some Pashinian allies have said that the ruling political team is ready to discuss with the opposition the possibility of snap elections.

Opposition leaders insist that the vote must be held by the transitional government. They blame Pashinian’s administration for the Armenian side’s defeat in the war with Azerbaijan and say it is not capable of meeting security challenges facing Armenia.

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