Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan calls for halt to violence over peace deal

WION Web Team
Yerevan, Armenia Published: Nov 16, 2020, 04:27 PM(IST)

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Pashinyan has fuelled outrage after he announced a Moscow-brokered peace deal that ended weeks of heavy fighting over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh that left at least 2,400 dead and displaced tens of thousands

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on Monday called for halt to violence after reports of an attempt on his life.

Pashinyan has fuelled outrage after he announced a Moscow-brokered peace deal that ended weeks of heavy fighting over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh that left at least 2,400 dead and displaced tens of thousands.

Armenia agreed to cede parts of the region to Azerbaijan as well as other territories controlled by Armenian separatists since a 1990s post-Soviet war.

Ethnic Armenians have set fire to their homes, severed electricity cables, and cut down trees before leaving the area that is to be handed over to Baku's control.

After the deal was announced, thousands of protesters took to the streets of the Armenian capital Yerevan, calling Pashinyan a "traitor" and demanding his resignation. Protesters also stormed government buildings.

On Monday, Pashinyan appealed for calm.

"Today I clearly stated that violence or the provoking of violence (especially armed violence) cannot in any way be a means of action for the government," Pashinyan said on Facebook.

Pashinyan said he expected the opposition to also declare that it did not back "any violent action".

Russia's President Vladimir Putin has told his Azeri counterpart Ilham Aliyev to take care of Christian shrines in parts of Nagorno-Karabakh that Azerbaijan gets under the deal, the Kremlin said on Saturday.

Vanetsyan, leader of the centre-right "Homeland" party, was released on Sunday after a court ruled that his detention lacked legal grounds. 

A dozen opposition leaders were detained last week for inciting riots but were also released by courts.

Nagorno-Karabakh declared independence from Azerbaijan nearly 30 years ago but it has not been recognised internationally, even by Armenia.

Clashes between Azerbaijan and Armenian separatists broke out in late September and persisted despite efforts by France, Russia and the United States to mediate ceasefires that collapsed as both sides accused the other of violations.

 

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