“Haykakan Zhamanak” says that despite efforts by Armenian diplomats President Robert Kocharian did not get an invitation to attend this year’s prestigious World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. “The reason for that is that the number of foreign officials willing to socialize with Kocharian at Davos was, to put it mildly, not big,” the paper claims. “Instead, Belarus’s President Aleksandr Lukashenko, who incidentally was not invited to the Davos conference either, will arrive in Armenia in the near future.”
Interviewed by the “Ayb-Fe” weekly, Dashnaktsutyun leader Vahan Hovannisian looks at recent political changes in the South Caucasus. “Only a few years ago we could say proudly that Georgia is mired in corruption and ethnic strife, Azerbaijan is mired in corruption and internal problems, while Armenia is an island of stability with its democratic institutions despite carrying a quite heavy burden of corruption,” he says. “But this is not the case today. With their new ambitious leaders, Azerbaijan and Georgia will now try to change the situation. I would say that they have already changed the situation, and in this sense Armenia has a lot to do and think about.”
“Iravunk” continues to make the point that a new, more active round of Karabakh diplomacy by the American, French and Russian mediators could trigger serious changes in the political situation in Armenia. The mediators’ pressure on the Armenian authorities to accept a particular peace formula would make the domestic opposition and the public in general “more active.” The paper speculates in particular that Dashnaktsutyun will turn against Kocharian if he agrees to implement the peace agreement reached with the late Heydar Aliev at Key West in 2001.
“Yerkir” looks forward to the practical impact of Armenia’s membership in the Council of Europe’s Group of Countries against Corruption (GRECO). “Armenia has assumed a new commitment which it must be able to fulfill. Otherwise, any upheaval, inattentive move could put the country in an awkward position,” the Dashnaktsutyun weekly comments. The authorities can no longer imitate a fight against corruption with “nice words, sumptuous seminars and presentations,” it says. “It is time for actions and fighting corruption must become a daily work.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” says there is a common perception in Armenia that the three-party coalition government of Andranik Markarian is just “an office for the distribution of posts.” “The principal reason for the emergence of such an impression is that during the past half a year the coalition has unfortunately failed to prove that it has a detailed plan of action made of objectives that are currently being achieved,” the paper says. “Since [the coalition parties’] pre-election pledges were not devoid of certain populism, the same posture has moved inside the coalition…It is becoming obvious that it is necessary to accelerate the pace of the entire country’s development.”