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Armenia detains two dozen anti-government protesters

By AFP

May 31, 2024 09:43 PM


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Armenian police on Friday detained around two dozen demonstrators at an anti-government protest over Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan's territorial concessions to its arch-foe neighbour Azerbaijan.

Protests erupted in the Caucasus nation last month after the government agreed to hand territory it had controlled since the 1990s back to Baku.

Pashinyan's position remains unshaken despite the opposition mounted by a charismatic archbishop, Bagrat Galstanyan.

Hundreds of protesters led by Galstanyan staged the rally Friday outside the foreign ministry in Yerevan, an AFP reporter at the scene said.

The country's interior ministry said in a statement that "26 citizens were detained" at the rally.

Galstanyan has sought to launch an impeachment process against Pashinyan, and on Monday he temporarily stepped down from his religious post to run for prime minister.

But he is not eligible to hold the office under Armenian law because he has dual citizenship -- Armenian and Canadian -- and opposition parties do not have enough seats in parliament to launch impeachment procedures.

Last week, Armenia officially returned to Azerbaijan four border villages that it had seized decades earlier, with Pashinyan saying the decision aimed to secure peace with Baku.

The Caucasus rivals have fought two wars for control of the Nagorno-Karabakh region, which Azerbaijan recaptured last year from Armenian separatists who had held sway over the mountainous enclave for three decades.


AFP


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