"Azg" says Defense Minister Serzh Sarkisian on Wednesday "poured cold water on Yerkrapah and those circles that are actively exploiting Foreign Minister Oskanian's statement on 'occupied territories'." In effect, Sarkisian said something which President Robert Kocharian was supposed to say.
"Hayots Ashkhar" says pressure on the Armenian side from international
mediators is already a fact. The promise of economic benefits in case the Karabakh conflict is resolve is part of that pressure. The Armenian political elite, the paper says, must close ranks to cope with that "policy of stick and carrot." Branding each other "traitors" is not the best way of doing that. Political forces concerned about the future of Karabakh must adopt a more constructive approach, as they did last month when they issued a joint statement on the main conditions of peace with Azerbaijan.
"Yerkir" claims that the main points of the forthcoming Minsk Group plan on Karabakh are already known and they are not quite pro-Armenian. The mouthpiece of the hard-line Dashnaktsutyun party says at the heart of the proposed deal will be the following points: "return of lands, loss of
Artsakh's freedom and its re-subordination to Baku, and a limited corridor [with Armenia] instead of a broad geographical link." Yerevan and Stepanakert will face a "total strategic defeat" if they accept those conditions. The authorities, leading political forces and ordinary people must unite to "save the homeland from the danger of foreign domination."
"Hayots Ashkhar" quotes Defense Minister Sarkisian as commenting on this week's statement by the HZhK and Yerkrapah implicitly accusing the authorities of obstructing justice in the case of the parliament shootings. Sarkisian says the move is "devoid of logic" and was a "result of a sick mind." The only positive thing about it, the powerful minister notes sarcastically, is that the signatories no longer accuse law-enforcement agencies of orchestrating the parliament killings. The HZhK and Yerkrapah now simply suspect them of providing "illicit legal counseling" to Nairi Hunanian.
Wednesday's Communist rally on Armenia's accession to the Russia-Belarus union is not presented as a major event by the papers. "Aravot" notes that speakers at the rally sounded less critical of the authorities than they used to. There was no harsh anti-presidential rhetoric.
"Azg" and "Hayots Ashkhar" report on Catholicos Garegin's decision
excommunicate Archbishop Tiran Kyureghian following the latter's revolt against Echmiadzin. The decision has to be confirmed by the Council of Bishops of the Armenian Apostolic Church.