Armenia seeks common ground after military memorandum
President meets parliament speaker, opposition leaders; will continue consultations with Chief of General Staff
The search for common ground in Armenia continued Friday after the army issued a memorandum for the resignation of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan.
President Armen Sarksyan met with Parliament Speaker Ararat Mirzoyan and opposition leaders and will continue consultations with Chief of General Staff Onik Gasparyan, according to opposition party leader Artur Vanetsyan.
Meanwhile, Sarkisyan has not signed the decree for Gasparyan’s dismissal, who gave the memorandum to Pashinyan.
Demonstrations of opposition groups continue
Staging on Bagramyan Street in the capital, Yerevan, groups represented by 17 opposition parties moved to the presidential residence.
Demonstrators stood in front of the Armenian Chief Public Prosecutor's Office and made speeches and chanting slogans against the prime minister.
Demonstrations of the oppositions are expected to grow late Friday.
The military released a statement Thursday that demanded Pashinyan step down.
The prime minister blasted the demand as a "coup attempt," and urged his supporters to take to the streets to resist. He later announced the dismissal of the Chief of General Staff on Facebook.
The unrest follows the end of a military conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan last fall widely seen as a victory for the latter.
Relations between the former Soviet republics have been tense since 1991 when the Armenian military occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, also known as Upper Karabakh, a territory recognized as part of Azerbaijan, and seven adjacent regions.
During the six week-conflict, which ended with a Russian-brokered truce, Azerbaijan liberated several strategic cities and nearly 300 of its settlements and villages from Armenian occupation.
About 20% of Azerbaijan's territory had been under illegal Armenian occupation for nearly three decades.
*Writing by Havva Kara Aydin
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