U.S. Department of State spokesman Ned Price reacted to latest developments in Armenia at a press briefing on Thursday.
Asked what his assessment of ongoing developments in the country is, whether he believes, as the Armenian prime minister said, that there was an attempted military coup and whether he supports Nikol Pashinyan as prime minister, Price said the U.S. is following the situation very closely.
“We urge all parties to exercise restraint and to avoid any escalatory or violent actions. We remind all parties of the bedrock democratic principle that states’ armed forces should not intervene in domestic politics. The United States has been a steadfast supporter of the development of democratic processes and institutions in Armenia. We continue to support Armenia’s democracy and its sovereignty, and we urge its leaders to resolve their differences peacefully while respecting the rule of law, Armenia’s democracy, and its institutions,” the spokesman said.
Asked whether he would consider the statement from the General Staff of the Armenia Armed Forces calling on Pashinyan’s and his cabinet’s resignation an incitement or a coup attempt, Price said the Department of State has a process to determine whether a coup has transpired.
“We talked about that process in the context of a very different setting, and that was Burma and the coup determination that we arrived at in the aftermath of the military’s overthrow of Burma’s democratic civilian leadership on February 1st. I think I said at the time that there are three criteria that this department looks for in making that determination. Of course, there has been no such determination in this case. We continue to support Armenia’s democracy and its sovereignty, and we’ll continue to watch developments very closely as they unfold," he said.