Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian received backlash after attempting to visit the Zangezur area, as residents did not let him enter the region.
An angry crowd protested Pashinian’s visit, chanting slogans urging him to “get out,” Turkish public broadcaster TRT Haber reported.
The unpopular prime minister, who faced a coup attempt in February over the defeat in the 44-daylong Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, left the area as police intervened to stop the protesters.
Armenia agreed to hand over three districts around Karabakh, namely Aghdam, Kalbajar and Lachin, as part of the deal that stopped an Azerbaijani offensive that had reclaimed swathes of territory lost to Armenian separatists in a 1990s war.
The protests against Pashinian began in November after he signed a cease-fire pact with Azerbaijan that conceded territory occupied by Armenian forces. The deal ended a six-week war over the Nagorno-Karabakh territory in which thousands died. The dispute with Azerbaijan over the territory had ensued for decades.
In 2018, Pashinian rose to prominence as the leader of widespread demonstrations across the country against the political establishment, demanding an end to corruption and a more democratic Armenia.
He was elected prime minister by the parliament after the bloc he led received 70.4% of the vote in elections held in December 2018.
Relations between the former Soviet republics of Azerbaijan and Armenia have been tense since 1991 when the Armenian military occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, a territory recognized as part of Azerbaijan, and seven adjacent regions. New clashes erupted on Sept. 27 and ended with a Russian-brokered truce six weeks later.
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