Armenian prime minister to travel to Syunik province on Monday

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YEREVAN, December 18. /ARKA/. Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said today he will travel to the southern province of Syunik on Monday to talk to the residents of Meghri, Kapan, Goris and Sisian and also to representatives of local self-government and provincial structures.

Hundreds of residents of Syunik province that borders districts recaptured by Azerbaijan during the Nagorno-Karabakh was have been blocking a highway running from Goris to Kapan for the second day protesting against the redeployment of Armenian troops as part of a Russian-brokered ceasefire.

After the leaders of Armenia, Russia and Azerbaijan signed a statement on the cessation of all hostilities in Artsakh on November 9, more than 190 settlements in Nagorno-Karabakh and adjacent seven regions came under the control of Azerbaijan. As a result, the borders of the Syunik province, including its administrative center Kapan, appeared to be in close proximity to the new borders of Azerbaijan, drawn up back in Soviet times.

On December 17, the mayor of Kapan Gevorg Parsyan, said that the Ministry of Defense ordered Armenian troops deployed in the area to relocate from what he described as ‘advantageous heights’ until 17:00 Friday, which were to be handed over to Azerbaijan.

He explained that as a result, “the enemy will approach our borders and will be at a distance of only one kilometer .”

On Thursday, after Defense Minister Vagharshak Harutyunyan’s visit to Syunik to discuss the troop redeployment with local military commander and provincial authorities. the Armenian Defense Ministry announced that more Russian border guards will be deployed at “some sections of the Syunik border.”

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