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Armenian News - NEWS.am presents the digest of top news of protests in Yerevan as of 19.05.22:

  • Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan will pay a working visit to Brussels on May 22.

A trilateral meeting between Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, European Council President Charles Michel and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev is scheduled as well.

Pashinyan will also have seperate talks with the President of the European Council Charles Michel. This will be the second meeting of Armenian and Azerbaijani leaders in Brussels in the past one and a half months. All three latest meetings of the two have been held in Brussels.

  • The EU will support the implementation of a peace agreement between Armenia and Azerbaijan if it is reached, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell noted.

His remarks came when asked if the EU is ready to provide security guarantees to the Nagorno-Karabakh people if Armenia and Azerbaijan reach an agreement. "We are far away from that yet. But if this happens, the EU will provide any help that we can in order to support the implementation of the agreement," he said.

  • Artsakh Ombudsman Gegham Stepanyan noted on Thursday that Azerbaijan deliberately hides the real number of prisoners. Azerbaijan confirms the presence of 38 military and civilians in captivity, however, the ombudsmen of Artsakh and Armenia, as well as human rights organizations, have evidence of other 80 people being held captive.

He also noted that since the signing of the trilateral statement, Azerbaijan has been violating the first point of the statement on the complete cessation of hostilities.

“40 thousand people were forcibly deported from Artsakh, which led to unprecedented violations of human rights,” he added.

  • US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu at United Nations headquarters in New York on Wednesday afternoon amid Turkey’s objections against Finland and Sweden joining NATO.

However, during the meeting Cavusoglu gave mixed signals. He affirmed his country’s support for NATO’s “open-door” policy and its understanding of Finland and Sweden’s desire to join the alliance following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. But he also repeated Erdogan’s demands that Turkey’s security concerns about the candidate nations be addressed.

After the meeting, the sides noted that the United States and Turkey are committed to working closely together to address current geopolitical challenges.

Meanwhile, Cavusoglu spoke to reporters after the meeting.

Cavusoglu noted that among other geopolitical issues, he also discussed with Blinken the process of normalizing relations with Armenia.

  • Despite US efforts to persuade Turkey, Ankara stayed loyal to its position concerning the possible NATO membership of Sweden and Finland.

President Erdogan noted that he has already informed the NATO members that they would say no to the membership. Finland and Sweden on Wednesday handed over their applications to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

  • The Russian Defense Ministry has stated that 771 other Ukrainian soldiers surrendered the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol in the last 24 hours, taking the total to 1,730 since Monday.

80 of those were wounded, and all those in need of medical attention are receiving treatment in hospitals. The Ukrainian side has not given an update on the number of those who have left the plant nor on the status of talks for their exchange for Russian prisoners.

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