(Saturday, April 24)
“International recognition of the Armenian Genocide has become an irreversible process,” writes “Hayots Ashkhar.” “The year 2003 saw serious and qualitative progress in that process.” The paper says genocide recognition will be an increasingly important condition for Turkey’s entry into the European Union. “Turkey must either settle scores with its own past by compensating the Armenians or remain a captive of [that past] and deprived of new opportunities for developing and therefore becoming stronger.”
“Azg” also sees further progress in the Armenian efforts to achieve worldwide recognition of the 1915 tragedy. “It is impossible to stop that process with Turkish threats,” the paper says.
“Aravot” makes the point that Armenia must be “strong” in order for that to happen. “And as long as Armenia is not a strong state it looks as though the Armenian Genocide will be recognized only by those countries whose interests are not threatened by acceptance of the tragedy.” The paper wonders whether the Armenian state will grow stronger “if our society comes to terms with illegalities and gives up any kind of political and social dissent for fear of jeopardizing national solidarity and stability.” “We can be strong only by becoming a free, democratic state and being a full-fledged member of the European family.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” looks at the annual remembrance of the genocide victims from a different angle, asking “how the political leadership of a people that experienced a genocide allows itself to rig elections, that is to deny its own people the sovereign right to be the masters of their country, to decide on their future.” “Long live that march [to the genocide memorial in Yerevan] if we go there to get rid of our complex and status of a victim, to prove that we will never allow the Turk, the Russian, the American, the bureaucrat, the criminal, the oligarch to impinge on our natural, supreme right to be the masters of our country.”
Commenting on domestic politics, “Hayastani Hanrapetutyun” again berates the Armenian opposition for seeking regime change through a “confrontation.” The paper says with its campaign of street protests the opposition discredits not only Armenia but also itself.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” quotes Dashnaktsutyun leader Vahan Hovannisian as telling a Russian newspaper that the majority of Armenians are not happy with their government. Hovannisian says the government should step up its efforts to address their grave problems. “The executive authority is either too slow in solving those problems or doesn’t solve them at all.” Hovannisian also urges the opposition to put aside its “maximalist” agenda and work with the governing forces alleviating hardship.