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Press Review


In a commentary on the birthday anniversary of the late Vazgen Sarkisian, "Aravot" says that the absence of the assassinated prime minister is having an increasingly negative impact on the country. He did succeed in creating a strong army but was prevented from making his second dream - Armenia's economic recovery - a reality. The paper puts the blame on President Robert Kocharian, again hinting that he was behind the October 1999 massacre in the parliament.

"Iravunk" hopes that Armenian society will preserve Vazgen Sarkisian's "valuable legacy." The paper also congratulates General Samvel Babayan, the jailed former commander of the Karabakh army who too marks his birthday on March 5. "The Armenian people remember and love you, and appreciate your services to the homeland. Rest assured that they will one day legally punish all traitors and criminals," the staunchly pro-Babayan paper says.

"Hayots Ashkhar" says had Sarkisian been alive he would have exposed the "liars" slandering the current authorities and "disseminating distrust" in them.

"Aravot," commenting on the planned deployment of U.S. anti-terrorism instructors in Georgia, says Armenia has reason to be worried about an escalation of tensions between Russia and the United States. They may force the government in Yerevan to "forget about their complementary policy and make good on its pledge of eternal and inviolable friendship given to Russia. That is not quite beneficial for us because Russia is now competing with America, not Georgia."

"Golos Armenii" sees a "new division of the world" by the major powers. The U.S., it says, has chosen the right moment to reinforce its status as the world's only superpower. But this objective is not easy to achieve as the U.S. ambitions are bound to face stiff resistance from nations unhappy with perceived American dominance.

"Haykakan Zhamanak" reports that the small political party of former national security minister David Shahnazarian has decided to disband itself. Its members will be urged to join the former ruling Armenian Pan-National Movement (HHSh). It quotes the HHSh deputy chairman, Andranik Hovakimian, as welcoming the move. Hovakimian says he hopes that the merger will facilitate the unification of all opposition parties with a "liberal democratic" agenda. The paper says some of them are now considering following Shahnazarian's example.

(Vache Sarkisian)
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