His Holiness Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians, said Tuesday that during a meeting with Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, he urged him to step down and called on the National Assembly to immediately take steps to form a government of national accord.
Karekin II conveyed this message through an address to the nation, saying the domestic political crisis in Armenia is posing “new dangers” to the homeland, “making vital the need for an urgent solution to the serious challenges that have arisen.”
“We are living through difficult and painful reality fraught with anxiety after the war. The martyrdom of thousands of our heroic soldiers, the loss of a significant part of historic Artsakh, the catastrophic consequences of the war, the great danger from external threats have shaken our souls, undermined solidarity and national unity in the homeland and the Diaspora,” said the catholicos.
Karekin II announced that he has held consultations with the episcopal and the Supreme spiritual council of the church, as well as President Armen Sarkissian, the Speaker of Parliament Ararat Mirzoyan and representatives of various political and civic organizations.
“The general consensus is that this grave situation can be untangled only through the constitution, in a climate of national solidarity and common sense,” said Karekin II.
He then went on to announce that he met with Pashinyan an conveyed to him that given the serious external and internal challenges and the lack of confidence in the prime minister, he urged him to step down “to prevent further shocks, possible clashes, and tragic consequences to the public.”
“To this end, we call on the National Assembly to act responsibly at this crucial juncture for our homeland, to listen to the demands of the public at large, to elect a new prime minister in consultation with political forces and to form an interim government of national accord,” explained the pontiff.
“Only a government composed of professional people who enjoy the public’s trust will be able to solve the problems facing our people, restore national solidarity and unity, organize extraordinary parliamentary elections which are an indisputable necessity,” said Karekin II.
He also called on the people and the opposition forces to refrain from provocative actions that can result in violence and sow hatred.