IslamNews – Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan defied calls to resign and accused the military of an attempted coup on Thursday, as divisions over his handling of last year’s war with Azerbaijan brought thousands to the streets.
Hours after the general staff of Armenia’s military made a shock call for his government to step down, Pashinyan rallied some 20,000 supporters in the centre of the capital Yerevan against what he said was an attempt to oust him.
The army “must obey the people and elected authorities,” Pashinyan said.
Pashinyan said he was ready to start talks with the opposition, but also threatened to arrest any opponents who “go beyond political statements.”
The prime minister has been under intense pressure over his handling of the conflict for control of the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region, but has ignored repeated calls to resign for losing swathes of territory to Azerbaijan.
Nagorno-Karabakh is an enclave internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan but which had been controlled by ethnic Armenians since a 1994 truce.
During the six-weeks of fighting late in 2020, Azerbaijan not only recaptured areas around the enclave but also took the key town of Shusha inside it.