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Armenia’s chiefs of police, security service dismissed at new PM’s request

Muslim Times(Web Desk) – The Armenian president has dismissed the heads of the country’s police and security service at the request of newly-elected Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan.

The press service of the office of Armenian President Armen Sarksyan said on Thursday that head of the police Vladimir Gasparyan and director of the National Security Service Georgy Kutoyan had been sacked from their posts after Pashinyan proposed they be dismissed.

Armenia’s parliament elected Pashinyan as the country’s new prime minister on Tuesday after he led weeks of street protests against the election of Serzh Sargsyan, Armenia’s president for the past 10 years, to the premiership office.

Pashinyan announced on Thursday that he had demanded that the president sack Kutoyan and Gasparyan.

Kutoyan had served as head of the national security service since February 12, 2016, while Gasparyan was head of police since November 1, 2011.

To appease his supporters, Pashinyan has showed that he wants to revise the course adopted by Sargsyan during his years in office as president.

He said Wednesday that he was ready for talks with neighboring Azerbaijan on the thorny issue of Karabakh, a region which is recognized as part of Azerbaijan but is dominated by ethnic Armenia separatists who have enjoyed support from the Armenian government.

“We are ready to continue peaceful talks,” Pashinyan said at a press conference in Karabakh’s capital Stepanakert on Wednesday.

He insisted in his meeting with Karabakh leader Bako Sahakyan that separatists should also be part of any political process with Azerbaijan.

“I’m ready to hold talks with Azerbaijan’s president on behalf of Armenia, but the leadership of Artsakh (Karabakh) should hold talks on behalf of Artsakh,” said Pashinyan.

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