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Press Review


"Aravot" scoffs at a statement by the pro-government media that the closure of the A1+ TV station was not politically motivated and that press freedom in Armenia is not in jeopardy. "The interesting thing is that these media outlets did not rebel against A1+’s closure." The paper thanks the weekly "Yerkir" of the Dashnaktsutyun party for refusing to sign the statement by television and radio stations and newspapers which it claims are "safely sitting in Kocharian's pocket." It says "Yerkir" "displayed a moral and civic stance on the issue."

"The European civilization is demanding adoption of laws meeting its standards, and when the people and political elite of a particular country feel no such need there arises a conflict of values with an assured defeat," writes "Haykakan Zhamanak." The paper says the authorities are intent on enacting a law on alternative military service that is not quite in line with European standards and norms. And yet it is Armenia that needs such a law most, not the Council of Europe which is pushing for its passage.

In an editorial, "Hayots Ashkhar" is tackling the following question: "What works in this country?" The paper does not seem to come up with a clear answer, saying only that most Armenian politicians are far from defending the interests of their countrymen.

Commenting on regional affairs, "Hayots Ashkhar" says it is already evident that the declared goal of the planned deployment of U.S. military instructors in Georgia -- the training of Georgian forces for anti-terrorist operations -- has little to do with Washington's real intentions. The paper says the U.S. is in fact trying to get a foothold in the South Caucasus and gain real leverage to ensure its long-term presence in the region. It is alarmed that the Americans might thus contribute to the growth of Turkish presence in the region. "Hayots Ashkhar" says Armenia has no other option but to wait and see how the "rivalry" between the U.S. and Russia is shaping up.

"Azg" writes that the Israeli government will not reconsider its stance on the Armenian genocide despite the recent accusations by Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit that the Israeli army is perpetrating a "genocide" against the Palestinians. "Israel and Turkey are strategic allies and that alliance will not show cracks as long as there are no geopolitical changes to the detriment of Turkey, Israel and the U.S."

(Vache Sarkisian)
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