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February 04
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I did not ask Nikol Pashinyan to leave the church; he was leaving. I told him something personal regarding him, he responded to me very calmly. The priest of St. Gregory the Illuminator Church in Sisian, Armenia, Father Pargev Zeynalyan, who had refused to shake the hand of Prime Minister Pashinyan who had visited the church earlier on Monday, said this in a conversation with Armenian News-NEWS.am.

As to why he reacted in such a way to PM Pashinyan, the clergyman described it as a personal approach conditioned by the recent demarcations in Syunik Province.

When asked what he had told Pashinyan, Fr. Zeynalyan only said that the meaning of his word was that the PM shall await the judgment of God.

As for the reports that the law enforcement officers were searching his house, the clergyman said that he was not aware of such reports.

After the aforesaid incident between the priest and the PM, some people went to the church and tried to “settle scores” with the clergyman, arguing that he had no right to treat Pashinyan in such a way.

Fr. Zeynalyan said that he was in the church, there was no one gathered there at the moment, and they were in the church grounds at a time when the priest was attending a funeral. "The situation here is very good, normal now," added the priest.

Nikol Pashinyan had announced in a Facebook post that he will pay working visits to Meghri, Kapan, Goris, and Sisian towns of Syunik Province on Monday. But he visited only Sarnakunk village, then Sisian where the aforementioned incident took place with the priest.

Pashinyan announced that he was canceling his visits to the other towns. According to him, the people of Goris had closed off the Yerevan-Goris motorway because they know that he will be received well in those towns, too.

Clergyman demonstratively refuses to shake Armenia PM Pashinyan's hand (PHOTOS)

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