Armenia’s Foreign Minister Ara Aivazyan submitted his resignation on Thursday, on the same day as six Armenian soldiers were taken hostage by Azerbaijani forces aggravating an already tense standoff at the Armenian border, which was breached by Azerbaijan on May 12 and its forces advanced into Armenia’s Syunik and Gegharkunik provinces.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Anna Naghdalyan made the announcement without elaborating on the circumstance.
Aivazyan attended a National Security Council meeting late Thursday and hosted Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Wednesday. It appears that Aivazyan submitted his resignation after the security council meeting.
Aivazyan assumed the role of foreign minister on November 18 when Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan reshuffled his cabinet after the major losses Armenia suffered as a result of last fall’s war.
During the security council meeting late Thursday Pashinyan proposed that all Armenian and Azerbaijani forces pull back from their respective positions along the border and deploy international monitors, which could be from Russia or the other OSCE Minsk Group co-chairing countries—the United States and France.
“This can be considered an official request to Russia, the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairing countries and Azerbaijan,” said Pashinyan. “I hope this offer will be accepted. After having studied the situation on the ground, I’m confident this is the shortest, the most effective and reasonable option.”
“The situation is tense and it is escalating,” said Pashinyan at the security council meeting, which was called after Azerbaijani forces did not comply with a deadline set forth by Yerevan to immediately return the six Armenian soldiers captured on Thursday.
“My assessment is that if the situation is not settled, this provocation may lead to large-scale clashes,” Pashinyan stated.