Thousands protest in Armenia calling for PM to resign
Protesters demanding that Nikol Pashinyan step down gather in front of parliament building in wake of clashes on Armenia-Azerbaijan border
Thousands of protesters gathered in front of the parliament building in Armenia’s capital Yerevan on Wednesday to demand Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s resignation in the wake of clashes between troops of the two countries on the Armenia-Azerbaijan border.
They included relatives of those who lost their lives in the Second Karabakh War, according to Armenia’s NEWS.am news agency.
The demonstrators demanded that Pashinyan not be given a vote of confidence as well as the resignation of the government.
Police blocked the street at the entrance to parliament to prevent the protesters from entering.
After tensions during the day, the number of demonstrators in front of parliament increased in the evening hours.
According to posts on social media, the protesters tried to break the doors of the parliament building.
Footage showed the protesters calling for Pashinyan’s resignation, shouting slogans against him and trying to break through a police barrier.
The demonstrators reacted to statements by Pashinyan in his speech earlier in the day to parliament that he wanted to sign a peace agreement with Azerbaijan.
They had also protested outside the parliament building Tuesday.
105 Armenian soldiers die in recent flare-up
Pashinyan told parliament Wednesday that 105 Armenian soldiers had died in the recent flare-up, while the count of Azerbaijani fatalities given by Baku stands at 50.
He said Yerevan wants the Azerbaijan-Armenia issue to be taken up at the UN Security Council and has reached out to allies with this demand.
Pashinyan also called for military assistance from Russia, which helped end the deadly 2020 conflict between the two former Soviet republics.
Further, as a humanitarian gesture, Baku said it is willing to hand over the bodies of 100 Armenian servicemen killed in the fighting over the past two days.
The Armenian army on Monday carried out extensive provocations in the border cities of Dashkasan, Kalbajar and Lachin, according to Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry.
Armenian army saboteurs laid mines on land and roads between positions along the border which triggered clashes resulting in casualties on both sides.
Relations between the former Soviet republics of Armenia and Azerbaijan have been tense since 1991, when the Armenian military occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, also known as Upper Karabakh, a territory internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan.
In 2020, Azerbaijan liberated several cities and over 300 settlements and villages that were occupied by Armenia, and the fighting ended with a deal brokered by Russia.
News ID : 1257