Defense Minister Serzh Sarkisian, in the second part of his interview with "Hayots Ashkhar," repeats that rumors about his having serious differences with Robert Kocharian are being spread by "not only opposition leaders." He says some unnamed allies of the president are "trying to show their entourage that they are so loyal to Kocharian that they can even suspect Serzh Sarkisian of taking certain steps against the president." They want to "look more Catholic than the Pope," he adds. "There is no way I will ever take any steps against President Robert Kocharian. Even if I allow myself the luxury of internally disagreeing with the president on some issues, I will never be able to cast shadow on our joint work and friendship which has been going on for more than two decades." Sarkisian stresses that he is satisfied with his current status and will not seek "any higher posts" in the next several years.
Turning to the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process, Sarkisian says: "Armenia will never lose Meghri. Furthermore, Armenia will never exchange Meghri even for half of Azerbaijan. If there are a few people in this country for whom giving away even one square kilometer [of land] would be extremely difficult, then rest assured that the list of those people starts with the names of Kocharian and Sarkisian." He also argues that if what Azerbaijani President Heydar Aliev alleged recently had been true, the Armenian side would have found itself "in deadlock."
"Azg" comments that the proposed changes in the Armenian parliament's statutes "absolutely stem from the president's and government's interests and are new challenges in themselves." But the success of the initiative is by no means certain. Both the opposition and government have strong arguments, but their "manner of struggle and tactics is just as unfounded."
"Orran" says the draft amendments in the statutes indicate that "the presidential administration is extremely fearful of and does not trust the parliament and the parliament majority at all." "This in turn suggests that there is no stability in the country," the paper says.
"Hayots Ashkhar" is worried about consequences of growing contacts between Armenia and Turkey. The paper says the latter has unleashed a "propaganda campaign" in Armenia. It calls for tough action against those Armenians who are "spreading Turkish propaganda." The paper does not elaborate.
Mesrop Movsesian, the director of the closed A1+ channel, tells "Aravot" that the television station is continuing to fight for resuming its broadcasts. "Everything will be done for us to return to the air," he says. "Let them (the authorities) think of ways of ensuring that."