Turkey ‘strongly condemns attempted coup’ in Armenia

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Turkey on Thursday “strongly condemned” what it described as an attempted coup in neighboring Armenia, where Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan was facing calls by the military’s top brass to resign, Agence France-Presse reported.

Pashinyan has faced political pressure since Armenia ceded swathes of territory in its war with Azerbaijan last year over the mountainous region of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Turkey backed Azerbaijan in the six-week conflict, which ended with a November truce brokered by Russia.

But although Turkey and Armenia have a complex history of troubled relations, Ankara said it stood by Pashinyan’s democratically elected government.

“We strongly condemn the attempted coup in Armenia,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu told a news conference in Budapest.

“We are absolutely against coups and coup attempts anywhere in the world.”

Pashinyan urged his supporters to take to the streets and dismissed the head of Armenia’s general staff on Thursday as the country teetered on the brink of chaos.

Çavuşoğlu said coup attempts threatened to destabilize the entire Caucasus region.

“Therefore, we are against it,” he said.

“In democracies, people could criticize the government and demand its resignation. This is natural. But the army’s call on the government to resign, let alone stage a coup, is unacceptable,” Çavuşoğlu said.

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