"Orran" comments that both the Armenian government and opposition have changed their tactics. "In the past, Robert Kocharian did not used to outline his impending political steps" the paper says, adding that the president was fond of putting his opponents at ease and then surprising them with unexpected moves. But now he is openly threatening to "pull their ears and isolate them" as well as to punish those who continue to harbor suspicions about his involvement in masterminding the October 1999 shootings. The paper wonders why he has decided to "display his cards." It concludes that the change of political tactics makes the political situation in the country unpredictable.
A leader of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun), Hrant Markarian, in an interview with "Orran" discusses ways of creating "an atmosphere of stability and trust within the government." He says all political forces must have "clear positions" on all major issues. He urges the authorities to initiate "discussions on internal dialogue." "The head of state or its leadership should not be constantly busy confronting and reacting to issues," he says.
"Golos Armenii" suggests that Azerbaijani President Heydar Aliev disclosed alleged details of the Karabakh peace talks now because he "finds it difficult to cope with pressure from mediators demanding a quick signing of a peace accord." That pressure jeopardizes his plans to transfer power to his son. "With his statements, he is trying to provoke a crisis, perhaps a change of leadership, in Armenia, which would derail the negotiating process."
A former Turkish government minister tells "Haykakan Zhamanak" that the main obstacle to normalizing Turkish-Armenian relations is the Armenian Diaspora. Bulent Arkacali claims that the Diaspora's main objective is to "preserve itself," rather than prop up independent Armenian statehood. Hence, its "anti-Turkish stance." Still, Arkacali believes that an improvement in Turkish-Armenian inter-state relations is on the horizon. "If the two countries do not improve their relations voluntarily, the United States must force them to do so because this...also stems from U.S. interests. The U.S. is neither pro-Turkish, nor pro-Armenian. America is primarily pursuing its own interests," he says.
But as one U.S. State Department official tells "Azg," Washington "can not force Turkey to open the Turkish-Armenian border and establish diplomatic relations with Armenia." "We can only encourage. Yerevan is doing a good job in that direction. There are diplomats in the Armenian presidential staff and foreign ministry that are well aware of the issue's importance. They are patriotic Armenians," the official says. "Turkey is ready to move forward with small steps. Armenia is ready to reciprocate those steps."