Armenian president refuses to return armed forces chief to center of political crisis

Armenian president refuses to return armed forces chief to center of political crisis

YREVAN (Reuters) – Armenian President Armen Sarkissian refused to fire the head of the country’s armed forces on Saturday, escalating a standoff between Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and the military over what Pashinyan called an attempted coup State to keep him away.

Pashinyan sacked Chief of Staff General Onik Gasparyan on Thursday, but his dismissal required formal approval from the president – who dismissed the move as unconstitutional and said the military should be kept out of politics .

Hundreds of opposition supporters, who had gathered in the center of the capital, Yerevan, greeted Sarkisian’s decision with cheers and applause after his announcement by the president’s office.

Pashinyan criticized the president’s decision, saying in a statement on Facebook that “this decision does not contribute to the solution of the current situation in …

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