YEREVAN, March 10. /TASS/. Armenian President Armen Sarkissian has invited Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, leaders of parliament factions and members of the opposition Fatherland Salvation Movement to hold a meeting on March 13 to discuss ways out of the political crisis gripping the country, the presidential office reported.
"Guided by state and national interests and in order to discuss the current state of affairs of to find ways out of the crisis, I invite the prime minister, leaders of parliament factions and members of the Fatherland Salvation Movement to hold a meeting in the presidential residence on March 13 at 12:00 (p.m. - TASS)," Sarkissian’s statement notes.
The president also stressed that the country continues to be in a political crisis which can have "unpredictable and irreversible ramifications for our state." "There are many problems, and urgent systemic changes are needed to address them, including constitutional and legislative ones. In the current situation, my only goal was to preserve the country from blows and avert a situation that could lead to unpredictable consequences," he added.
The statement also notes that the presidential office will wait until Thursday 18:00 for replies from the invited parties.
On Wednesday, the armed forces’ commandment issued a statement, reaffirming the demand of former Chief of the General Staff Onik Gasparyan for Pashinyan’s resignation and snap general elections. Earlier, the prime minister said that Gasparyan had been relieved from his post after the decree to sack him was not signed by the president in time and was not challenged by him in the Constitutional Court either. Gasparyan himself slammed the decree as unconstitutional and decided to appeal it in an administrative court.
In turn, Sarkissian submitted the law on military service and the status of a service member, which determines the procedure for appointment and resignation of a chief of the General Staff, to the court for review. Meanwhile, the opposition insists that Gasparyan should remain in his position.
Armenia plunged into a political crisis after Gasparyan and top military brass called for Pashinyan to step down. The prime minister slammed the move as an attempted military coup and twice asked the president to sign the decree to dismiss Gasparyan. The opposition has already had two meetings with Sarkissian to discuss the issue twice since the crisis began.