Armenian protest leader detained amid mass demonstrations

Armenian Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan (left) walked out of a meeting with protest leader Nikol Pashinyan.

(CNN)An Armenian protest leader was detained Sunday, shortly after talks with the country's newly-appointed prime minister broke down amid days of mass demonstrations.

Nikol Pashinyan, opposition MP and leader of the protests calling for Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan's resignation, was taken in the capital Yerevan and brought to a local police station, according to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL).
Earlier in the day, a highly anticipated meeting between Pashinyan and the prime minister lasted just minutes, before Sargsyan walked out.
The talks followed nine days of mass demonstrations in the capital, over concerns new prime minister Sargsyan -- who was previously president for 10 years -- could be in power too long.
Armenian policemen detain a protester during a rally in central Yerevan on April 21.
On Saturday, Pashinyan said in a video message posted on his Facebook page that he would be meeting "Sargsyan to discuss the conditions of his resignation and of [a] peaceful transfer of power."
But shortly after the leaders met at the Marriott Hotel in Yerevan, the prime minister walked out, accusing Pashinyan of "blackmailing the state," according to state news agency, Armenpress.
The televised meeting showed Sargsyan, dressed in a suit, telling Pashinyan, dressed in a camouflage t-shirt and with a bandaged hand,"that's not negotiations, that's not a dialogue. That is simply an ultimatum, blackmailing the state and legitimate authorities," reported Armenpress.
Thousands of protesters gathered in Yerevan, on  April 20, 2018.
Members of Armenia's parliament elected Sargsyan prime minister on April 17, just days after Armenia transitioned to a parliamentary system, according to Armenpress.
Sargsyan had previously served two five-year terms as president and critics say his prime ministerial role could give him the power to stay in