As supporters of the Homeland Salvation Movement continued their protests and kept Baghramyan street closed, President Armen Sarkissian met with the movement’s leaders on Friday.
Present at the meeting were the Homeland Salvation Movement candidate for prime minister, Vazgen Manukyan, the head of Homeland Party Arthur Vanetsyan, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation Supreme Council of Armenia member Artsvik Minasyan and Republican Party of Armenia leader Vahram Baghdasaryan.
During the meeting, the sides exchanged views on the current political crisis in the country and discussed ways to ease domestic tensions and finding a peaceful resolution to the situation.
The Homeland Salvation Movement representatives presented their approaches and viewpoints to the president.
The meeting with Sarkissian comes a day after Armenia’s top military brass issued a statement calling for Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s resignation.
Soon after the announcement on Thursday, the Homeland Salvation Movement called a rally of supporters in front of Armenia’s National Assembly building, where protesters called for Pashinyan’s resignation and blocked the entrance to Baghramyan Street where the parliament is located.
Many protesters stayed overnight, pitching tents and vowing that they would not leave until Pashinyan has resigned.
The Homeland Salvation Movement held another rally on Friday, during which its leaders met with the president.
Vanetsyan, who attended the meeting with the president, briefed the protesters after the meeting saying that he and his colleagues urged the president to swiftly and categorically resolve this situation.
“The president didn’t make any concrete promises to us. He listened to our succinct request and told us that he will me high-level military officials and in the coming days he will make a decision,” Vanetsyan told protesters on Friday adding that they hope the president will make his decision “in the name of Armenia.”
Sarkissian met with staff of the Armed Forces later on Friday, and held a meeting with the Armed Forces Chief of Staff Colonel-General Onik Gasparyan, who had made the announcement on Thursday calling for Pashinyan’s resignation.
The President also held meetings with Parliament Speaker Ararat Mirzoyan, the head of the ruling My Step bloc Lilit Makunts, the leaders of the parliament’s opposition Bright Armenia and Prosperous Armenia parties Edmon Marukyan and Arman Abovyan respectively.