“Hayots Ashkhar” says Armenia’s recent “foreign policy maneuvers” are bringing “serious dividends” to the country’s international standing and domestic influence of its government. The opposition wanted to offset that by heightening political tensions “as much as possible.”
“Aravot,” on the other hand, scoffs at the geography and rationale of President Kocharian’s recent official trips abroad. In a grotesque mock report, the paper says Kocharian will travel to the Seychelles Islands in August for a 15-year official visit. “The visit’s itinerary includes a meeting with the Seychelles’ Armenian community and the holding of an Armenian-Seychelles business forum.”
“Or” says Kocharian will cast himself as a “businesslike, pragmatic leaders” during his reelection campaign next year. Opposition leaders like Artashes Geghamian and Arshak Sadoyan will vie for the image of “the people’s candidate.” Former president Levon Ter-Petrosian and former prime minister Armen Sarkisian, for their part, fall under the category of “intellectual individuals,” while Stepan Demirchian and Aram Sarkisian fit into the “crown prince” category. But nobody can lay claim to the status of a “national savior” enjoyed by Demirchian’s late father.
The chairman of the opposition Hanrapetutyun party, Albert Bazeyan, claims in “Haykakan Zhamanak” that Kocharian will secure his reelection by fraudulent means if he manages to stay in power until the 2003 presidential vote. “We continue to believe that Kocharian should not rule until the end of his term. He must be brought to account for his violations of the law,” Bazeyan says. He says the opposition could find it easier to hold an impeachment debate in the parliament in the weeks to come.
“Azg” says that the Turkish government’s announcement that the Ottoman archives are now open to researchers is a “lie.” The purpose of the announcement is to lure Armenian historians into “discussions meant to prove that Armenian genocide claims are baseless.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” warns of the dangers of the belief that “Armenia, as a state, and consequently Armenians, as a nation, can not live without Turkey.” The paper says the belief is not only taking roots in Turkey’s small ethnic Armenian community and among other “Diaspora figures” but also in Armenia itself. It could pave the way for Armenia’s “political capitulation.” “We are convinced that Armenia is able to meet new Turkish challenges,” the paper says.