Ara Ayvazyan, new foreign minister for Armenia

Ayvazian Named as New Armenian Foreign Minister


YEREVAN – President Armen Sarkissian signed a decree, initiated by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, two days after the resignation of Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, appointing Ara Ayvazyan on November 18 as foreign minister.

Pashinyan announced on Monday, November 16 that he had decided to sack Mnatsakanyan. The latter insisted, however, that he himself tendered his resignation. He gave no reason for the move.

Earlier on November 16, Armenian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Anna Naghdalyan publicly contradicted Pashinyan’s comments regarding Shushi, Nagorno-Karabakh’s second largest city captured by Azerbaijani forces during the recent war.

The prime minister claimed that peace proposals made by US, Russian and French mediators in recent years called for the restoration of Azerbaijani control over Shushi.

“The issue of giving up [Karabakh Armenian control of] Shushi was not raised during any stage of the peace process,” Naghdalyan said in a short statement.

One of Mnatsakanyan’s deputies, Shavarsh Kocharyan, also stepped down following a Russian-mediated ceasefire that stopped the bloody war in Karabakh.

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Ayvazyan also served as deputy foreign minister before being named to replace Mnatsakanian. The 51-year-old was appointed to that position only a little over a month ago, on October 16. He had previously worked as Armenia’s ambassador to Mexico and various European countries.

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