Armenia, Nikol Pashnyan in Yerevan

Turkey condemns the coup attemp in Armenia

Armenian army top generals called today for the resignation of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan to avoid a civil war in Armenia.

Turkey condemned on Thursday the coup attemp in Armenia through the Turkish foreign minister, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, who recalled that Ankara “opposes any type of coup, no matter what it is”, after the Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan asked his followers for help and dismissed the head of the armed forces.

We are against coups and coup attempts anywhere in the world,” said the Turkish minister during a press conference in Budapest with his Hungarian counterpart Peter Szijjarto, underlining that the Caucasus has a chance for peace (after the agreement between Armenia and Azerbaijan) that must not be missed.

The Armenian Prime Minister denounced on Thursday an attempted coup against his government after the Armenian Army General Staff issued a statement signed by top officials of the armed forces demanding the resignation of Pashinyan, who since last November has been facing violent protests and multitudinous in the capital, Yerevan, for the military defeat and the capitulation to Azerbaijan in the conflict for Nagorno-Karabakh.

The communiqué issued by the General Staff came after Pashinyan decided to replace the Vice Chief of the General Staff earlier this week; after the military announcement was published today, the Prime Minister in turn ordered the dismissal of the Chief of the General Staff and made an appeal urging the military to follow only to his orders, while asking his followers to take to the streets to support him in front of the coup plotters.

Armenian opposition warns of risk of civil war

Pashinyan was gathering shortly after with his supporters and guarded by the police in Yerevan’s Republic Square, but the opposition also called demonstrations and Prosperous Armenia, the main opposition party, gave the prime minister an ultimatum demanding his immediate resignation to avoid a civil war in the country. Former Prime Minister Serg Sargsyan has also called for him to leave.

“We ask Nikol Pashinyan not to lead the country into civil war and to avoid bloodshed. Pashinyan has one last chance,” the opposition, which has supported the army’s request for Pashinyan to leave power, warned in a statement. However, he assured that the situation in the country is controllable and that he is willing to discuss the opposition’s demands, saying: “We have no enemies within Armenia.”

“Many rumors are spreading, saying that we have a plane ready and we are ready to flee. But we are here, and we will not leave our homeland under any circumstances. My family is here,” Pashinyan insisted.

The cascade of events that led to this coup attemp in Armenia comes after this week the protests calling for the resignation of Pashinyan, whom the opposition describes as a “traitor“, increased, blocking the main streets of Yerevan and paralysing traffic in the capital. Pashinyan won the December 2018 elections with 70.4% of the votes after erecting himself as the leader of a movement that called for democratic reforms and an end to corruption in the country, and which forced the resig of his predecessor, Serg Sargsyan.