PM Pashinyan Discussed Nagorno Karabakh Peace Deal and Snap Elections in Armenia
Speaking about possible snap parliamentary elections Nikol Pashinyan suggested, during his interview to the Armenian Public TV, to create public solidarity as a way to allow everyone's voice to be heard. Pashinyan said that the opposition demands his resignation, however, they disagree on holding snap elections. “The debate currently revolves around the question – who is to decide the fate of the government. The fate of the government must be decided by the people,” Pashinyan said. He added that the election campaign is an opportunity for everyone to stand before the people, to voice the accusations, and present evidence.
Speaking about connecting Azerbaijan to Nakhichevan through the territory of Armenia, Pashinyan assured that the trilateral statement points to the opening of transport routes and that there is no word about a corridor through the southeastern region Syunik or Meghri. “The red line is our territorial integrity,” Pashinyan vowed. “If it turns out that we can have railway communication with Russia and Iran through Nakhichevan, will it be good news or bad news? How do we imagine going to Russia through the territory of Nakhichevan and Azerbaijan, but Azerbaijan being unable to go to Nakhichevan through [Armenian] territory?” Pashinyan added.
The PM touched on the issue of Armenian southern border demarcation. He explained that the trilateral statement was signed when 90 percent of Kubatlu and Zangelan regions, neighboring with the southeastern Syunik region in Armenia, was under the control of Azerbaijan. “At the time when it was clear that a war could break out over this issue and pass to Syunik region, we took measures to ensure the security of Syunik,” Pashinyan said. According to him, the demarcations are serving the purpose of ensuring that those territories are within the area of responsibility of The Collective Security Treaty Organization.
Opposition Sit-Ins Continue. PM Invites to a Discussion About Snap Elections
The “Homeland Salvation Movement”, a coalition of more than a dozen parties, continues sit-ins at capital Yerevan’s main square demanding PM Pashinyan’s resignation. On Friday, groups of citizens blocked central roads in Yerevan, as an act of civil disobedience, causing major traffic disruption. Leaders of opposition parties said they would hold daily demonstrations until Pashinian agrees to hand over power to an interim government with Vazgen Manukyan nominated as an interim Prime Minister.
On Friday, Pashinyan invited parliamentary and extra-parliamentary forces to hold consultations over the issue of holding snap elections in 2021 confirming his readiness to step down or continue leading the country upon the decision of the people. As CivilNet.am reports, later the opposition groups described Pashinyan’s statement as an attempt to “deceive and mislead the people” adding that the parliamentary elections will completely break the state causing new social and economic shock.
Armenian Catholicos Denounced Over Continuous Calls on PM to Resign
“Like every citizen, the church is free to express its views,” said His Holiness Karekin II, the Catholicos of all Armenians answering the journalists after the Sunday mass today.
After a meeting with Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan on December 8, the Catholicos announced that the church had asked Pashinyan to step down over a growing tension in the country, possible clashes, and internal and external challenges due to Nagorno Karabakh trilateral peace deal signed by Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Russia.
Earlier today Arman Tatoyan, Armenian Human Rights Defender, made a statement over cases of hate speech on social media platforms calling on organizing protests against the Catholicos in the area of Etchmiadzin Cathedral (301-303), the Holy See of the Armenian Apostolic Church. Human rights activist Ruben Melikyan describes the events as a campaign against the Armenian Holy Apostolic Church and its followers, News.am reports.
Calling on PM Pashinyan to resign was also supported by the Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia Aram I (headquartered in Lebanon). “We have large numbers of victims, captives, wounded and refugees,” he said. According to the Catholicos, Armenians around the world feel the suffering of this huge loss of the nation and demand clear accountability “about this horrible tragedy,” Armenpress.am reported earlier on December 8.
Erdogan and Putin Friendly Relations Allows for Solutions of Disputes, Kremlin’s Spokesperson Said
Speaking about Russian-Turkey relations Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov stated in an interview to Russia-1 TV that personal friendly relations between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan and their constructive mood allow for identifying harmonious solutions of disputes, Russian News Agency TASS reports. Peskov added that as major geopolitical actors, Russia and Turkey can make tangible contributions to the peace and stability in the region.
Armenian and Russian Foreign Ministers Discussed Nagorno Karabakh
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Foreign Minister of Armenia Ara Ayvazian held a telephone conversation on Saturday. The Ministers discussed the implementation of the provisions of the peace declaration signed on November 9 by the leaders of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia, Armenpress.am reports.