U.S. Calls on Armenian Protesters to Respect Democracy

WASHINGTON, DC — The United States has called on Armenian opposition supporters to avoid violence and respect Armenia’s democracy in their continuing protests against Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan.

“We fully support the fundamental freedoms of expression and peaceful assembly,” Ned Price, the U.S. State Department spokesman, told a daily press briefing in Washington on Monday. “We urge people to express their opinions in a peaceful manner.”

‘In terms of protests in Armenia – and as you know, we had a Strategic Dialogue with the Armenians last week, I suppose it was – and it was in that forum that we reaffirmed our mutual commitment to Armenia’s democratic development and the United States support for lasting peace in the South Caucasus,’ Ned Price said

“We urge authorities to exercise restraint and encourage those protesting to refrain from violence and to respect the rule of law and Armenia’s democracy,” he said amid nonstop demonstrations organized by the Armenian opposition.

The head of the EU Delegation in Armenia, Andrea Wiktorin, signaled concerns about some of the police actions on Tuesday, saying security forces should “follow rules” and not be allowed to “operate with impunity.”

But Wiktorin also said: “There can be different perceptions of what peaceful gatherings are, and if there are provocations I would personally ask myself where does it end.”