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Armenian PM faces military’s demand to resign, talks of coup

The General Staff issued a statement calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, which was signed by top military officers. The move was triggered by Pashinyan's decision earlier this week to oust the first deputy chief of the General Staff.

By: AP | Yerevan |
February 25, 2021 4:02:27 pm
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan addresses the nation in Yerevan, Armenia in Dec. 5, 2020. (Tigran Mehrabyan, Armenian Prime Minister Press Service/PAN Photo via AP, File)

Armenia’s prime minister spoke of a military coup Thursday after the military’s General Staff demanded that he step down after months of protests sparked by the nation’s defeat in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict with Azerbaijan.

The General Staff issued a statement calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, which was signed by top military officers. The move was triggered by Pashinyan’s decision earlier this week to oust the first deputy chief of the General Staff.

Pashinyan described the military’s statement as a “military coup attempt” and ordered the firing of the General Staff’s chief.

The developments came after Armenia saw a spike in demonstrations this week demanding the resignation of Pashinyan.

The protests against Pashinyan began in November after he signed a cease-fire pact with Azerbaijan that ceded territory occupied by Armenian forces. The deal ended a six-week war over the separatist Nagorno-Karabakh territory in which thousands died. The dispute with Azerbaijan over the separatist territory had gone on for decades.

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