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Armenian president, opposition discuss ways out of political crisis

Armen Sarkissian held a meeting with member of the executive body of the Republican Party Vahram Baghdasaryan

YEREVAN, March 7. /TASS/. Armenian President Armen Sarkissian met with representative of the opposition Homeland Salvation Movement, board member of the Republican Party Vahram Baghdasaryan to discuss ways out of the internal political crisis, the presidential office’s press service reported on Sunday.

"President Armen Sarkissian held a meeting today with member of the executive body of the Republican Party of Armenia within the Homeland Salvation Movement Vahram Baghdasaryan. The meeting was held at the invitation of the republic’s president. The sides exchanged opinions on the variants of settling the situation in the country and reducing tension caused by recent developments," the statement says.

The political crisis in Armenia broke out after the end of hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh and escalated on February 25 when Armenian General Staff Chief Onik Gasparyan and about 40 top officers issued a statement demanding Prime Minister Pashinyan and the government step down.

Armenia’s President Sarkissian, who is authorized by the national constitution to appoint and dismiss the chief of the General Staff at the prime minister’s behest, refused to sign the decree removing the general. However, he also did not challenge Pashinyan’s motion on Gasparyan’s resignation at the Constitutional Court. Instead, Sarkissian sent the 2017 law on military service, which vests the prime minister with the right to initiate dismissal of senior officers of the army command without providing any reasons for that to the Court for examination.