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Press Review


"Differences between Robert Kocharian and Serzh Sarkisian are obvious," claims "Orran," referring to the defense minister's latest interview with "Hayots Ashkhar." Sarkisian, the paper says, noted that the professional and intellectual level of government officials has declined dramatically since the October 1999 assassinations. Sarkisian deplored the appearance of numerous "accidental people" in the government. "Who is Serzh Sarkisian complaining about?" asks "Orran." After all, few important events happen in Armenia without his approval or at least knowledge. This could only mean that he is unhappy with Kocharian's government appointments. Hence, his disagreements with the president that appear to be really serious. Otherwise, Sarkisian would not have expressed his unhappiness publicly.

But according to "Or," the inner-government disagreements are not as grave as they are presented by the media. They could become grave if pro-government forces continue to act in a "hasty and unprepared" manner. The latter are becoming increasingly "nervous" as the elections approach. But in Armenia, one or two months is sufficient time to conduct an effective election campaign.

"Hayots Ashkhar" discusses the possible political comeback of former president Levon Ter-Petrosian. "By increasingly reminding of his existence, Ter-Petrosian is returning to the Armenian political scene," the paper says. It claims that Ter-Petrosian is intent on forming a political alliance that would help "superpowers" sell a peace accord on Karabakh to the Armenian public.

"Haykakan Zhamanak" says the majority of Armenian parliament deputies have a "normal" attitude toward Ter-Petrosian's possible return to active politics.

"Haykakan Zhamanak" also reports that Vahan Harutiunian, the former commander of Armenian interior troops who claimed to have taken murder orders from former interior minister Vano Siradeghian, has been released from prison before completing his seven-year sentence.

Defense Minister Sarkisian, meanwhile, tells "Hayots Ashkhar" that he sees "favorable conditions" for Armenia to deepen its cooperation with both Russia and the West. "The longer this geopolitical situation continues, the closer the U.S.-Russia, NATO-Russia, Europe-Russia relations become, the more favorable those conditions will be for Armenia," he says.

"Azg" praises Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian's statements made in Istanbul. The paper says his speech at a local think tank was "well calculated" and "contained positive signals" that could "disarm" the Turkish government's tough policy toward Armenia. It will also disarm the United States which the paper believes has been pressing Armenia to improve its relations with Turkey with unilateral concessions.

(Vache Sarkisian)
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