Armenian President Armen Sarkisian met protest leader Nikol Pashinian on Saturday in Yerevan's Republic Square as thousands demonstrated against the newly elected prime minister.
As soon as he arrived, President Sarkisian, accompanied by his bodyguards, shook hands with Nikol Pashinyan, an MP and leader of the opposition, before the two men started a discussion, an AFP journalist said.
Pashinyan earlier said he was only prepared to discuss the exit of the new prime minister, former president Serzh Sargsyan.
"We are only ready to discuss the conditions of his departure," news agencies quoted Pashinian as saying after Sarkisian called on the opposition to enter into talks with authorities.
"This won't be a dialogue, as I already said, we do not want vendetta and we wish to secure the transfer of power to the people while avoiding shock as much as possible," Pashinian was quoted as saying.
Armenian authorities said Saturday more than 70 people have been arrested, including two people suspected of building bombs.
The national security service said two people with opposition connections were arrested for preparing bombings in public places. Police, meanwhile, said at least 70 demonstrators were detained.
In the evening, about 50,000 demonstrators gathered in the capital's central Republic Square.