The Armenian opposition on Saturday gave prime minister Nikol Pashinian until Tuesday at noon to resign over a controversial truce deal with Azerbaijan to end fighting over the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region.

Some 20,000 protesters gathered in central Yerevan, chanting “Nikol the traitor” and “Armenia without Nikol”.

Armenia and Azerbaijan, two former Soviet republics, have been involved in a territorial conflict since they gained independence in the 1990s. Nagorno-Karabakh, which is internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan, but is historically an ethnic Armenian region, has been the focal point of the conflict between the two nations.

More than 2,000 people have died since the fighting broke out on September 27, including many civilians. Fighting has surged to its worst level since the 1990s, when about 30,000 people were killed.

A Moscow-brokered deal was struck on November 10, ending the 44-day war. Under the deal, Azerbaijan took back control over parts of Nagorno-Karabakh and all surrounding territories.

Many Armenians see the peace deal as a national defeat. Pashinian has defended the deal as Armenia’s only option, and has acknowledged that it was “bad for us”.

The prime minister has not given any indication he intends to resign, and his My Step faction still holds a wide majority in the 132-seat parliament to avoid a no-confidence vote.


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