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Thursday Oct 08 2020
Web Desk

Armenia dismisses national security chief amid intense clashes with Azerbaijan: report

Web Desk
A police officer stands in front of an apartment building that was supposedly damaged by recent shelling in the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region's main city of Stepanakert on October 3, 2020, during the ongoing fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed region. — AFP/File

Armenia on Thursday sacked its National Security Service head, Argishti Kyaramyan, amid the deadliest clashes with the arch-rival Azerbaijan, Interfax news agency reported citing a presidential decree.

The latest fighting between the two forces over the disputed region has killed over 350 since September 27. Under international law, Nagorno-Karabakh belongs to Azerbaijan but it is populated and governed by ethnic Armenians, who broke away in a 1991-94 war that killed about 30,000.

"I have signed a petition for the removal from office of the director of the NSS. A relevant decree will be signed [by the president of Armenia] in one or two days. This happened as a result of a series of discussions with the NSS director and upon mutual consent," Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said at a press conference on Monday.

Future work options have been discussed with Vanetsyan, the minister said, adding: "I think Mr. Vanetsyan will now concentrate on leading our national team into the European soccer championship's final.”

On the other hand, Vanetsyan released a statement, through the NSS press service, explaining reasons for his resignation.

Read more: Azerbaijan-Armenia clash: World leaders urge halt to violence after 24 dead

"I have decided to submit a letter of resignation. In the current situation and in the context of future developments, I consider such a decision to be the most preferable and most substantiated way of serving Armenia and my people.”

“I also made this decision confidently, just as I did at the fateful moment for our country, when I agreed to take up the position of NSS Director. Over the past year and a half, I have worked openly, and every one of my steps was based on the sole principle of Motherland and an officer's honor being above all," the statement reads.

Amid fierce clashes, Armenia leaders said it was facing a 'historic threat' as the country reported heavy losses during the long-sought dispute at Nagorno-Karabakh region.