YEREVAN (Azatutyun.am)—Career diplomat Ara Ayvazian was appointed as Armenia’s new foreign minister on Wednesday.
President Armen Sarkissian signed a relevant decree, initiated by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, two days after the resignation of Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan.
Pashinyan announced on Monday that he has decided to sack Mnatsakanyan. The latter insisted, however, that he himself tendered his resignation. He gave no reason for the move.
Earlier on Monday, Armenian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Anna Naghdalyan publicly contradicted Pashinian’s comments regarding Shushi, Nagorno-Karabakh’s second largest city captured by Azerbaijani forces during the recent war.
The prime minister claimed that peace proposals made by U.S., Russian and French mediators in recent years called for the restoration of Azerbaijani control over Shushi.
“The issue of giving up [Karabakh Armenian control of] Shushi was not raised during any stage of the peace process,” Naghdalyan said in a short statement.
One of Mnatsakanian’s deputies, Shavarsh Kocharyan, also stepped down following a Russian-mediated ceasefire that stopped the bloody war in Karabakh.
Ayvazian also served as deputy foreign minister before being named to replace Mnatsakanyan. The 51-year-old was appointed to that position as recently as on October 16. He had previously worked as Armenia’s ambassador to Mexico and various European countries.