(Saturday, June 26)
“What is the alternative to fabrication, lies and conformity? The alternative is dignity and justice,” opposition leader Stepan Demirchian tells “Haykakan Zhamanak.” “The speed of change will depend on how active the society is.” Demirchian speaks out against any serious “regrouping” of the opposition camp. The issue of “forming new formats” of political struggle is not on the agenda of the Artarutyun alliance, he says. “The fighters keep fighting. The podium has not been privatized [by Artarutyun and its allies]. And if someone thinks that power is lying bare on the street let them go and take it.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” says Demirchian and other anti-government “radicals” are now at pains to play down “the positive impression” left by President Robert Kocharian’s speech at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE). The paper says Kocharian tried to retrieve Armenia’s “dirty laundry” left by the opposition in Strasbourg and was quite reserved in his criticism of the opposition “gang.”
“Aravot” reports that the Council of Europe’s newly elected secretary general, Terry Davis, has publicly disagreed with Kocharian’s statement that Nagorno-Karabakh has never been part of an independent Azerbaijani state. Davis, the paper says, told the PACE’s Political Committee after Kocharian’s Strasbourg speech that the international community and the United Nations in particular do recognize Azerbaijani sovereignty over Karabakh.
“One of our favorite and constant pastimes is the creation of myths that substitute for real life with its real problems,” writes “Golos Armenii.” One of those myths sprang up last week and relates to Armenia’s ties with the Council of Europe, the paper adds, apparently referring to official hype surrounding Kocharian’s speech at the PACE. Another myth is renewed rumors about the imminent opening of the Turkish-Armenian border.
“In his Strasbourg speech, President Kocharian subjected Turkey to harsh criticism for keeping the border closed,” says “Hayots Ashkhar.” “But we believe that Turkey is thereby pursuing a pro-Armenian policy because the Turks are consistently not allowing us to forget who we are. If Turkey was not so principled and was instead callous and wily as we sometimes perceive it, it would soften its toughness and open the border, even forgetting about Karabakh for a while. The consequences could unpredictable.” Unfettered commercial ties with Turkey would ruin Armenia, according to “Hayots Ashkhar.”