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Armenian Protest Leader Pashinian Says PM Serzh Sarkisian Agrees To Meet

Armenian opposition supporters demonstrate in Republic Square in Yerevan on April 21.
Armenian opposition supporters demonstrate in Republic Square in Yerevan on April 21.

Armenian protest leader Nikol Pashinian says he will meet on April 22 with former president and current Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisian after nine days of mass demonstrations against Sarkisian’s rule.

"I will meet Serzh Sarkisian to discuss the conditions of his resignation and of [a] peaceful transfer of power," Pashinian said on April 21 on his Facebook page in a video message.

He said the meeting is scheduled for Yerevan's Marriott hotel at 10 am (8 a.m. in Prague).

Sarkisian's office has not yet confirmed the meeting.

But earlier on April 21, Sarkisian said he sought a "political dialogue" with the protest leader.

“I am deeply concerned about the inner-political developments. In order to avoid irreparable losses, I urge Nikol Pashinian to sit at the political dialogue and negotiations table. It should be done immediately,” said in a statement posted on his website.

Pashinian met on April 21 with President Armen Sarkisian as protests mounted against the election of Serzh Sarkisian as prime minister in the Caucasus nation. The two Sarkisians are not related.

Serzh Sarkisian was named prime minister after his 10-year stint as president ended two weeks ago.

Opponents says the shift effectively makes Serzh Sarkisian a leader for life. In a 2015 referendum, backed by Serzh Sarkisian, Armenia transitioned to a new system of government that reduces the presidency's power and bolsters the prime minister’s role.

Based on reporting by Reuters, Interfax, and AFP

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