NewsThousands demand Armenian prime minister’s resignation over peace deal

Thousands demand Armenian prime minister’s resignation over peace deal

Crowds in the streets of the capital of Armenia
Crowds in the streets of the capital of Armenia
Images source: © X | Belsat

5:57 PM EDT, May 26, 2024

A crowd of thousands demands the resignation of Armenia's Prime Minister, Nikol Pashinyan. Upset Armenians have taken over cities, including Yerevan. The demonstrations are a response to the outcome of peace talks with Azerbaijan. Protesters aim to prevent the implementation of the Armenian-Azerbaijani agreement signed in March 2024.

In March 2024, Nikol Pashinyan's government signed peace agreements with Azerbaijan, ending the more than 40-year-long Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict. Armenia and Azerbaijan both claimed rights to Nagorno-Karabakh. Ultimately, the territory came under the government's jurisdiction in Baku (the capital of Azerbaijan - editor's note).

Armenian society, however, did not accept the agreement's contents. They criticize Prime Minister Pashinyan for conceding a small area in the border region of Tavush, which concerns several villages that will be incorporated into Azerbaijan's borders. According to the protesters, relocating people and transferring territory to the government in Baku is illegal.

Thousands of protesters. Armenia's Prime Minister threatens with war

Protests erupted almost immediately after the agreements were signed but have been gaining momentum. Today's demonstration, composed of thousands, appears to be the largest since March 2024. Demonstrators have taken to the streets of Yerevan and are heading towards Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan's residence.

The number of people was so large that, as reported by Belsat, they could not fit in the capital's main square. Bagrat Galstanyan (bishop of the diocese in Tavush), the protest had to change its original plans and blocked the traffic in the capital of Armenia.

The opposition and the non-partisan movement "Tavush for the Homeland" demanded talks with Prime Minister Pashinyan. However, he traveled to another part of Armenia that was currently affected by flooding.

Nikol Pashinyan's house is guarded by thousands of security service officers. Protesters emphasize that they intend to keep the demonstration peaceful, but the police in Yerevan do not rule out clashes.

Prime Minister Pashinyan maintains that "the signed agreements are the only way to end the war" and claims the demonstrators aim to reignite the conflict. On the other hand, protesters point out that "the resettlement process began without signed agreements, which could lead to further military actions from Azerbaijan."

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