By Emre Gurkan Abay
MOSCOW (AA) - Armenia's president dismissed the ministers of defense, emergency situations and labor and social affairs on Friday.
According to a decree signed by President Armen Sarkisyan, Vagarsak Harutyunyan was appointed defense minister to replace David Tonoyan.
Emergency Situations Minister Feliks Tsolakyan and Labor and Social Affairs Minister Zaruyi Batoyan were also removed following protests that erupted in Armenia earlier this month after Premier Nikol Pashinyan accepted defeat by signing a deal with Azerbaijan and Russia to halt the fight over Upper Karabakh.
Relations between the former Soviet republics of Azerbaijan and Armenia have been tense since 1991 when the Armenian military occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, also known as Upper Karabakh, a territory recognized as part of Azerbaijan, and seven adjacent regions.
New clashes erupted on Sept. 27 and the Armenian army continued its attacks on civilian and Azerbaijani forces, even violating humanitarian cease-fire agreements for 44 days.
Baku liberated several cities and nearly 300 settlements and villages from Armenian occupation during this time.
On Nov. 10, the two countries signed a Russia-brokered agreement to end fighting and work toward a comprehensive resolution.