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Armenian Protesters Block Yerevan Mayor's Office

Armenian police prevented protesters from entering the mayor's building on May 11 before they blocked access.

Armenian police prevented protesters from entering the mayor's building on May 11 before they blocked access.

YEREVAN -- Armenian opposition activists and their supporters have blocked the building of the Yerevan city mayor as rallies resumed demanding Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian's resignation.

An opposition leader in parliament, Deputy Speaker Ishkhan Sagatelian, called on the protesters to unblock the building, saying they could join rallies taking place in the city on May 11. Police prevented protesters from entering the building before they blocked access.

The protesters are demanding Pashinian’s resignation because of what they say are unacceptable concessions he made during negotiations with Azerbaijan over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Pashinian issued a statement on May 11 saying that Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers will soon meet soon to discuss delimiting the border between the two South Caucasus nations.

"We have gone through severe hardships, but I can say today that I am deeply confident that we are on the right path," Pashinian's statement published by his press service said.

Anti-government demonstrations have been taking place since April 17. Protesters have blocked major roads in Yerevan and called on the population to commit acts of civil disobedience.

Pashinian has faced heavy criticism since he and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev agreed last month to start drafting a bilateral peace treaty to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and set up a joint commission on demarcating their common border during talks in Brussels.

Azerbaijan wants the peace deal to be based on five elements, including a mutual recognition of each other’s territorial integrity. Pashinian has publicly stated that the elements are acceptable to Yerevan in principle, fueling Armenian opposition claims that he is ready to recognize Azerbaijani sovereignty over Nagorno-Karabakh.

Armenia lost control over parts of the breakaway region in a 2020 war that ended with a Russian-brokered cease-fire, which an estimated 2,000 Russian troops have been deployed to monitor.

Nagorno-Karabakh, which had been under ethnic Armenian control for nearly three decades, is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan.

Pashinian, who said he had agreed to the 2020 cease-fire to avoid further losses, said he would not sign any peace deal with Azerbaijan without consulting ethnic Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh.

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