Armenia’s PM resigns ahead of June snap polls

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Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan stepped down on Sunday ahead of an early general election he called following criticism over his handling of last year’s conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Pashinyan, who was swept to power in pro-democracy protests in 2018, had been under pressure to resign since ethnic Armenians lost territory in fighting in and around the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave within neighboring Azerbaijan last year.

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He said on his Facebook page he was returning power received from citizens to them so they could decide the future of the government through free and fair elections.

As previously announced, the vote will be held on June 20.

His resignation, which was expected, came two days after US President Joe Biden said that massacres of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire in 1915 constituted genocide, a move welcomed by Armenians worldwide and condemned by Turkey.

Pashinyan told Biden in a letter on Saturday his historic decision was a matter of security to Armenia after the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, in which Turkey backed Azerbaijan.

Read more:

US President Biden officially says 1915 massacres of Armenians constitute genocide

Turkey summons US ambassador over Biden’s 1915 Armenian genocide recognition

Biden declares 1915 Armenian genocide. What happened in 1915?

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