Opposition leader presented Sarkissian conversation inaccurately, President’s Office says
YEREVAN, APRIL 22, ARMENPRESS. After the Saturday evening meeting with President Armen Sarkissian in Republic Square of Yerevan, opposition MP Nikol Pashinyan has presented their conversation inaccurately to the media and his followers, Mr. Sarkissian’s aide Hasmik Petrosyan told local media.
Petrosyan said the President had gone to Republic Square yesterday with the purpose of creating a chance for negotiations.
“Nikol Pashinyan had presented his agenda. The President had said that the Prime Minister has his agenda, while the rest should’ve been discussed during negotiations. After all, this is the meaning of any negotiation – to hear one another and try to find the possible acceptable [option]. Nikol Pashinyan did not accurately present the conversation between himself and the President,” Petrosyan said.
The President expressed regret that the talks didn’t resume, which could’ve de-escalated the situation, she said.
After the April 21 meeting with the president, opposition MP Nikol Pashinyan claimed that he will negotiate the transfer of power with PM Sargsyan the next day.
Earlier today, the meeting between Armenia’s Prime Minister and opposition MP Nikol Pashinyan, leader of the ongoing demonstrations, lasted only a few minutes.
The anticipated meeting took place in the Marriott Hotel in Republic Square of Yerevan, the main rally site where every evening demonstrators gather to protest.
The Prime Minister arrived without a tie, while the opposition MP was wearing his usual t-shirt and hat.
As expected, both the Prime Minister and the lawmaker arrived at the hotel at 10:00.
The meeting was held in the presence of numerous reporters who were broadcasting live.
“I am happy that you responded to my numerous calls to talk. Although I don’t quite imagine how long we can negotiate in the presence of dozens of reporters, nevertheless I am happy”, the Prime Minister said at the beginning.
MP Nikol Pashinyan responded by saying that there is a misunderstanding and that he has come to discuss the PM’s resignation and peaceful transfer of power, rather than for dialogue.
“That’s not negotiations, that’s not a dialogue. That is simply an ultimatum, blackmailing the state and legitimate authorities. You do not realize the degree of responsibility, you didn’t learn lessons from March 1 . And if we have to speak in that tone, then I am only left to once again advice you to return to the legal area and overall the limits of reasonable actions. Otherwise the entire responsibility falls on you,” Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan said.
Pashinyan reacted by saying that the situation in Armenia has changed and the power has transitioned to the people.
“A 7-8% parliamentary faction doesn’t have the right to speak on behalf of the people. And I don’t want to continue this conveersaton with you anymore. If you do not accept the lawful demand of the state, goodbye,” PM Sargsyan said and walked out on the opposition lawmaker.
Before departing, the Prime Minister addressed reporters, saying : “Dear reporters, you yourselves can make conclusions”.
After the meeting, Pashinyan resumed marching in the streets of Yerevan, while many began to call for another meeting and dialogue.
Earlier on Saturday, President Armen Sarkissian walked through hundreds of protesters to talk with the opposition leader in Yerevan’s Republic Square.
English –translator/editor: Stepan Kocharyan