“Aravot” is disappointed with the resumption of televised interviews given by Armenian and Azerbaijani officials to journalists from the opposite side. The last “television bridge” featured Novruz Mamedov, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliev’s top foreign policy aide. The paper terms such contacts “boring and fruitless” and says international organizations sponsoring them simply waste money. “Clearly, the Azerbaijani side will try, as always, to hypnotize Armenian journalists and itself with its speeches and talk about Azerbaijan’s imminent economic upswing and about how the resolution of the Karabakh problem will soon be easy for Azerbaijan.”
Azerbaijani leaders, according to “Aravot,” believe that the Armenians will end up begging for peace and absolution from Baku. Yet paradoxically, the paper says, “Azerbaijan keeps crying while constantly talking about its own might.”
The foreign minister of the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, Ashot Ghulian, laments in “Azg” what he sees as a lack of a “clear stance on the essence and specificities of the Karabakh issue in Armenia.” He says that is also true for Armenian government officials. He does not elaborate, though.
“Iravunk” sees similarities between the political situations in February 2004 and February 2003, pointing to the ongoing nationwide meetings held by the opposition Artarutyun bloc and the National Unity Party. Those meetings “very much resemble an [election] campaign.” Pro-government forces too are acting as if they are on the stump, while pro-government media are “actively discrediting the opposition.” “But why is the regime so worried when the opposition is simply boycotting sessions of the National Assembly and organizing meetings with the population?” The paper explains that a prolonged opposition boycott would “create conditions for a government rift.” “There are already indications that the government camp is splitting up,” it claims.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” says the congress of the governing Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) has been prolonged in an “indirect indication that there are certain disagreements” within the party. “According to our information, participants of the congress disagree on the final text of their resolution,” the paper says. “In particular, some of them insist a section of the resolution relating to the domestic political situation must reflect views expressed by [Dashnaktsutyun leader] Hrant Markarian at the opening session of the congress. But others think that those assessments need to be somewhat softened because otherwise it would be impossible to cooperate with other members of the ruling coalition.” The only issue that did not require a debate is Dashnaktsutyun leaders’ position on Karabakh.
“Hayots Ashkhar” complains that Constitutional Court Chairman Gagik Harutiunian has failed to explain to the public what exactly it meant by suggesting a referendum of confidence in its April 2003 ruling. The paper says officials refuse to make public Harutiunian’s written response to parliament speaker Artur Baghdasarian’s request for such an explanation that was filed to the court late last month. “This bizarre refusal may have only one explanation: perhaps some public figures are indeed interested in the continuation of the noise over the referendum of confidence.”