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Armenia

Yearbook 1997

Armenia. The country's Prime Minister Armen Sarkisian resigned in March due to ill health. President Levon Ter-Petrosian added Robert Kotjarjan to the post. He was previously president of the disputed enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh.

According to Countryaah, Georgia's President Eduard Shevardnadze made his first official state visit to Armenia in May. An agreement that the countries should cooperate in a number of areas, including research, banking, environmental protection and education, were concluded at the visit. Armenia also sought cooperation with the Russian Federation, and the country's president met President Boris Yeltsin during the year. An agreement was signed in which the two countries pledged to continue their peaceful cooperation.

Large demonstrations broke out in October in Armenia's capital Yerevan. The Armenians demonstrated against their president's approval of a peace plan for Nagorno-Karabakh, which the European Security Organization (OSCE) supported. According to the plan, Armenia and Azerbaijan will work to give the enclave a comprehensive autonomy.

1997 Armenia

In April 2016, serious armed clashes occurred in Nagorno-Karabakh, killing at least 30 Armenian and Azerbaijani soldiers.

In July, a group of armed men stormed a Yerevan police station, killing 1 officer, wounding 2 and taking several hostages. After the storm at the police station, several hundred protesters gathered at Freedom Square to show their solidarity with the armed group, demand the release of the leader of the armed group, Jirair Sefilian as well as the departure of the President. The following weeks, the protests spread in Yerevan, and there were frequent clashes between police and protesters. On July 20, it clashed after protesters tried to deliver food to the armed group at the police station. Police sought to impede the delivery, and were instead met by stones and bottles. Police again responded with tear gas and shock grenades that also hit peaceful protesters. 136 were subsequently arrested. 9 days later, new clashes between protesters and police came not far from the occupied police station. Police too hard forward and 60 protesters were injured. Subsequently, Yerevan's police chief was fired and 13 policemen - several senior officials - were sanctioned for not preventing attacks on protesters and journalists.

In September 2016, Prime Minister Abrahamyan resigned and criticized his government's inability to deal with the current economic and political challenges. He was replaced at the post by Yerevan's former mayor, Karen Karapetyan. Despite some economic growth during the year, unemployment remained at 18%.

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