“Aravot” says the Armenian authorities are looking for scapegoats to rationalize the latest critical resolution on Armenia adopted by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. The paper points to Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian’s televised interview late on Tuesday in which he accused the opposition members of the Armenian delegation at the PACE of failing to protect “national interests” by exposing their country’s shortcomings to European parliamentarians. Oskanian was furious with the opposition lawmakers’ attempts to have the PACE endorse a referendum of confidence in President Robert Kocharian and denounce the Armenian elections and the closure of the A1+ TV channel.
“We should stoically keep silent about all of this. Otherwise, we should not expect anything good in the resolution of the Karabakh problem,” “Aravot” comments sarcastically. Oskanian’s message to the opposition, according to, is as follows: “Let us create ‘dirty linen’ but do not talk about it.”
As a spokesman for the opposition People’s Party (HZhK) counters in “Aravot,” the opposition and the government may work together on Karabakh and Armenia’s “sovereignty” but not for covering up last year’s vote falsifications. Artashes Geghamian, one of the two opposition deputies who attended the PACE session in Strasbourg, says Oskanian should only blame his diplomats abroad for the fact that only a handful of the assembly’s members backed the Armenian delegation’s position on Karabakh. “What have our numerous embassies with their extremely self-satisfied ambassadors and diplomatic staff been doing?” he says.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” notes in this regard that Karabakh was nearly mentioned by the PACE as an Azerbaijani territory “occupied” by Armenia. The Armenian side may no longer be able to thwart such wordings in the future, it warns. “The reason for that is that the Armenian authorities and the traditional Armenian political thought have no program of settling the Karabakh issue. Nor do they have levers to influence international mediation of that issue.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” also deplores the Armenian “failures” in Strasbourg, saying that they are becoming a “tradition.” The paper vents its anger on the Armenian delegation at the PACE which it says has a “low level of professionalism.” “Today Armenia does not have at least one professional politician with certain diplomatic experience at the Parliamentary Assembly…It is obvious that working at the Parliamentary Assembly with such efficiency in the context of the intensification of the negotiating process of a Karabakh settlement is becoming one of the dangers facing our national security.”