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Gayane Hovsepyan

Yerevan: Anti-Government Protesters Blockade Presidential Palace

Anti-government protesters in Armenia today blockaded the residence of President Vahagn Khachaturyan, claiming he is “cut off from reality” and only serves the interests of the ruling Civil Contract party and not the national interests of the country.

Opposition leader Ishkhan Saghatelyan called on protesters to prevent any officials from entering the building.

Saghatelyan argued that Khachaturyan has not responded to opposition proposals to alleviate the domestic political situation.

Saghatelyan announced that protesters had also surrounded the building housing the Security Council to paralyze the normal functioning of the government.

The opposition accuses the Pashinyan administration of making unacceptable concessions regarding Artsakh and Armenia’s sovereignty. 

Saghatelyan, who serves as the National Assembly’s vice speaker, said the opposition will demand that the parliament adopts an unambiguous statement, proposed by the opposition, on normalizing relations with Azerbaijan and Turkey. 

He said those who fail to approve the opposition statement will publicly be branded “traitors” who are pursuing a disastrous foreign policy for the country.

The statement calls on Armenia to declare that it will support the full realization of the right of the people of Nagorno Karabakh to self-determination and the international recognition of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic. 

The statement also declares that any final version of the settlement of the Karabakh conflict resulting in Artsakh becoming a part of Azerbaijan is unacceptable.

The opposition also calls for a safe land connection between Armenia and Artsakh.

Finally, the opposition says that all Azerbaijani troops must withdraw from Armenia and that all Armenian POWs and detainees held by Azerbaijan before any border demarcation can proceed.

Regarding relations with Turkey, the opposition says that any normalization agreement with Ankara must not call into question the fact of the 1915 Armenian Genocide.

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