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Foreign Minister Denies Coup Attempt In Armenia


UAE -- United Arab Emirates’ Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan meets with his Armenian counterpart Ara Ayvazian, Abu Dhabi, March 11, 2021.

Contradicting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian, Foreign Minister Ara Ayvazian insisted on Friday that the Armenian military’s unprecedented demands for the government’s resignation did not amount to a coup attempt.

“Of course, the results of the aggression unleashed by Azerbaijan had a negative impact on internal stability in Armenia, but I strongly disagree with the characterization of the [recent events as an] attempted coup d’état in Armenia,” Ayvazian told Al-Arabiya television during a visit to the United Arab Emirates.

“This was a kind of political positioning by some members of [the Armenian army’s] General Staff,” he said in an interview publicized by the Armenian Foreign Ministry. “They just made a political statement, which is not an attempted coup in itself. This was also the assessment of different countries and international organizations.

“There are no elements of a coup d’état in Armenia. Armenia continues to be a democracy, and the current situation, as I said, will be dealt with according to democratic standards in our society.”

In a February 25 statement, the Armenian military’s top brass demanded the resignation of Pashinian and his government, accusing them of putting the country “on the brink of destruction” after last year’s war in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Pashinian rejected the demand as an attempt to stage a military coup. He twice held rallies in Yerevan to counter what he called opposition-backed attempts to end “the people’s power.”

The prime minister also sacked General Onik Gasparian, the chief of the army’s General Staff. Gasparian denounced the move as unconstitutional and said he will challenge it in court.

Pashinian did not accuse the military of trying to seize power when he met on Wednesday with other generals who signed the February 25 statement. Instead, he thanked them for their military service.

“I trust in you and believe that you have served the country in good faith,” added Pashinian.

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