YEREVAN, March 10. /ARKA/. Armenian President Armen Sarkissian invited today Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, the leaders of parliamentary factions and the opposition Homeland Salvation Movement to join efforts and find a way out of the current crisis.
“I confirm my conviction that the only way to settle differences is through negotiations and dialogue, and the only way for the development of Armenia and Artsakh is to unite the efforts and capabilities of all of us,” the president said in a statement.
Sarkissian expects to receive responses from all the parties by 18:00 on March 11. The meeting is scheduled for March 13.
According to the president, the political crisis may have unpredictable, irreversible consequences for the country.
“There are many problems, their solution requires urgent systemic changes, including constitutional and legislative ones. Both the government and parliamentary and extra-parliamentary political forces have repeatedly expressed their position. However, there is no mutual understanding and desire to meet with each other. Moreover, calls for intolerance have become more frequent,” he said.
Sarkissian says his only goal is to protect the country from shocks, to prevent a situation that could lead to unpredictable consequences.
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said in a Facebook post today that his decision to dismiss the chief of staff of the armed forces Onik Gasparyan has come into force.
Pashinyan ordered the dismissal of Gasparyan after the latter and more than 40 other top ranking army generals demanded his resignation in a statement on February 25.
Nikol Pashinyan has been facing opposition demands to resign since he signed a peace deal in November with Azerbaijani and Russian leaders to end the 44-day war in Nagorno-Karabakh that claimed thousands of young lives, and saw Azerbaijan reclaim control over large parts of Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding areas that had been held by Armenian forces for more than a quarter of a century.
The standoff has intensified after Pashinyan fired a deputy chief of the army’s general staff Tiran Khachatryan who reportedly laughed off his claim that only 10% of Russia-supplied Iskander missiles that Armenia used in the conflict exploded.
After Khachatryan’s sacking the chief of the army staff Onik Gasparyan and more than 40 other high-ranking army officers signed under a statement demanding Pashinyan’s resignation. Pashinyan reiterated by issuing an order to sack Gasparyan and called the demand as attempted coup.
However, Armenia’s largely ceremonial president, Armen Sarkissian refused to sign it and sent back to Pashinyan’s office. “Political struggle must not go beyond the bounds of the law, it should not lead to shocks and instability,” he said in a statement.
Pashinyan quickly resubmitted the demand warning that the president could be impeached if he fails to endorse the move.-0-