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Talks between Armenian opposition, acting PM called off

YEREVAN, Armenia (AP) – Armenia’s acting prime minister has called off talks with the opposition leader amid mass protests.

Acting premier Karen Karapetian and protest leader Nikol Pashinian were expected to meet at noon on Friday to discuss the political crisis that has gripped the landlocked former Soviet nation.

Karapetian’s office said in a statement Friday morning that it called off the talks because Pashinian was “dictating the agenda.”

Protesters react listening to their leader Nikol Pashinyan at Republic Square in Yerevan, Armenia, Thursday, April 26, 2018. The Armenian parliament on Thursday called for an extraordinary session next week to vote for a new prime minister after the country was plunged into a political crisis with the abrupt resignation of its leader. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)

Pashinian told a rally on Thursday that either he will be elected prime minister “or there won’t be a prime minister in Armenia.”

After nearly two weeks of anti-government protests, Serzh Sargsyan, who ruled Armenia for 10 years, stepped down on Monday. His ally Karapetian took over as an acting premier. The parliament is set to vote next week on the new prime minister.

Protesters react listening to their leader Nikol Pashinian at Republic Square in Yerevan, Armenia, Thursday, April 26, 2018. The Armenian parliament on Thursday called for an extraordinary session next week to vote for a new prime minister after the country was plunged into a political crisis with the abrupt resignation of its leader. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)

Protesters react listening to their leader Nikol Pashinian at Republic Square in Yerevan, Armenia, Thursday, April 26, 2018. The Armenian parliament on Thursday called for an extraordinary session next week to vote for a new prime minister after the country was plunged into a political crisis with the abrupt resignation of its leader. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)

Protest leader Nikol Pashinian speaks to demonstrators gathered at Republic Square in Yerevan, Armenia, Thursday, April 26, 2018. The Armenian parliament on Thursday called for an extraordinary session next week to vote for a new prime minister after the country was plunged into a political crisis with the abrupt resignation of its leader. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)

Protest leader Nikol Pashinian speaks to demonstrators gathered at Republic Square in Yerevan, Armenia, Thursday, April 26, 2018. The Armenian parliament on Thursday called for an extraordinary session next week to vote for a new prime minister after the country was plunged into a political crisis with the abrupt resignation of its leader. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)

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