Pashinyan slams calls for a 'coup' in Armenia

AFP , Tuesday 19 Sep 2023

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on Tuesday slammed calls for a "coup" in Armenia, as protesters gathered outside government offices in Yerevan, hours after Azerbaijan launched a military operation in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Armenians protest
Armenians protest to urge the government to respond to the Azerbaijani military operation launched against the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region outside the government building in central Yerevan on September 19, 2023. AFP


Armenia's opposition has accused Pashinyan of being weak on Karabakh, a region mostly populated by ethnic Armenians over which Yerevan and Baku have been locked in a dispute over decades.

"We must not allow certain people, certain forces to deal a blow to the Armenian state," Pashinyan said in a televised address.

"There are already calls, coming from different places, to stage a coup in Armenia."

Television and social media videos showed hundreds of protesters gathering outside government buildings in Yerevan, responding to a call by opposition parties to take to the streets.

Pashinyan has faced large protests in Armenia since losing swathes of territory to Azerbaijan in a 2020 war.

Opposition parties accuse him of making too many concessions on Karabakh.

He also faced protests during a blockade of the Lachin corridor, Armenia's only land link to Azerbaijan, that ended this week.

Pashinyan was elected after leading a peaceful revolution in Armenia in 2018.

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