YEREVAN, February 25. /ARKA/. Ishkhan Saghatelyan, the representative of the ARF/Dashnaktsutyun’s Supreme Body, said today the opposition is ready to meet with Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan to discuss one question only – his quick and painless resignation.
‘We give him this corridor and this opportunity. There should be no civil clashes, he must resign and leave,” Saghatelyan said. He accused Pashinyan of trying to create a split in the society and incite clashes.
Vazgen Manukyan, nominated by the opposition alliance as their single candidate for the post of interim prime minister, called on their supporters to gather in Freedom Square to “finish what has been started” and hold rallies in the regions of Armenia.
The opposition parties Prosperous Armenia and Bright Armenia failed today to call an emergency session to discuss a way out of the crisis.
“We are sending a delegation to the President of Armenia to discuss the situation in the country and find ways out of the crisis,” said Saghatelyan.
He called on the Armenian Prime Minister not to intimidate the protesters with threats of detention. Saghatelyan once again urged him to leave without shocks.
“Tents, tea, coffee, water, stoves will soon be brought to Freedom Square so that we can stay here in such cold weather,” Saghatelyan said, urging everyone to join.
Nikol Pashinyan has fired today the chief of staff of the armed forces Onik Gasparyan after the leadership of Armenia’s armed forces called for his resignation. Later Pashinyan responded by calling on his supporters to rally at downtown Yerevan square.
The military officials’ statement came amid renewed protests against Pashinyan and his government, led by a coalition of opposition parties who also have been calling on Pashinyan step down blaming him for Armenia’s defeat in last year’s war with Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh.
In a February 23 interview with local television, Pashinyan said that the Iskander missiles launched during the war in Nagorno-Karabakh didn’t explode, or maybe ten percent of them exploded.
Pashinyan’s comments were a response to an interview the week before of ex-president Serzh Sargsyan, who criticized Pashinyan for not using the Iskander missiles until the last days of the war.
The deputy chief of staff, Tiran Khachatryan, was asked in a February 24 interview about Pashinyan’s comments, and reportedly began his response by laughing saying that Pashinyan’s assessment of Iskander’s efficiency was ‘superficial and not serious.” He was fired later the same day.
Armenian Defense Minister Vagharshak Harutyunyan had a telephone conversation on Thursday with his Russian counterpart Sergey Shoigu, Armenian defense ministry said, adding that the conversation was initiated by the Russian side.
It said the ministers discussed the situation in Armenia and the mission of the Russian peacekeeping contingent in Nagorno-Karabakh, as well as a number of other issues of mutual interest. -0-