Financing has been secured for the construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline, and those who had serious reservations about the project have no doubt that it will go ahead, said former high ranking government official Yerjanik Abgarian in an interview with "Aravot." He believes that now the security of pipeline will become a priority, which means that a solution must be found to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Abgarian predicts that the conflict must be settled by the end of 2005. The OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmen will visit the region next month, but until then the peace process will be frozen, "Aravot" writes.
After the presidential elections in Armenia, NKR President Arkadii Ghukasian continues to insist that Nagorno-Karabakh should become an equal negotiating party in the Karabakh peace process. "Aravot" suggests that perhaps Ghukasian was given the green light to make such statements. Meanwhile, "Aravot" cites the opinions of several other politicians who also think that Karabakh should become an equal party in peace process. Stepan Demirchian, the leader of the main opposition bloc in the parliament, also supports this view, saying at the same time that no part of Armenian territory could be a subject of bargaining in any peace deal. "The option of Meghri is a myth, Meghri is the most strategic region for Armenia and I think it is not in our interest to bargain it [away]," said Galust Sahakian, leader of the Hanrapetakan parliament faction, which is a senior partner in the ruling coalition. The leader of Dashnaktsutiun faction, a junior partner in the ruling coalition, believes that Karabakh was always a party in the negotiating process. Levon Mkrtchian tells "Aravot" that Meghri was just an idea, but it has never been put on the negotiating table.
"Hayots Ashkharh" carries a commentary on the ongoing heated debate about promoting officials from Nagorno-Karabakh to the highest echelons of power. "There is a clear attempt to convince the people that the men from Karabakh, who more successful and better off, are to blame for the failures that everyone else has. Where will this shameful racism take us and how long we are going to tolerate it?" the paper asks.
The judge in the Tigran Naghdalian murder trial, Saribek Aramian, told "Hayots Ashkharh" that crime has been proven and the verdicts handed down were commensurate with the seriousness of the crime.
According to "Azg," the murder of Tigran Naghdalian was not just another killing. A professional journalist was killed, and the case should have been tried differently. After the trial, no journalist will feel safe to criticize a government official, the paper concludes.
The Ministry of Justice has refused to register the Social-Democratic Party of Hnchakian, "Haikakan zhamanak" reports. The party is one of the oldest Armenian parties and was active in the Diaspora during the Soviet era. The paper notes that the new law on political parties requires re-registration of all parties. This opportunity could be used by the current regime to get rid of undesirable parties. But "Haikakan Zhamanak" suggests that this is not all, and that the refusal to register the Hnchakian party is just a prelude. The paper believes the main goal of this regime is to deny registration to Aram Sarkisian's Hanrapetutiun Party, which is a member of the Ardarutiun opposition parliament bloc.