(Saturday, October 9)
“Aravot” thinks that it was not the fear of Armenia’s expulsion from the Council of Europe that prompted the opposition to cooperate with the authorities at last week’s session of the organization’s Parliamentary Assembly. The paper suggests that the authorities may have proposed something that aroused the opposition’s interest or simply made their opponents believe that the international community is exploiting the political situation in the country to clinch Armenian concessions on Nagorno-Karabakh. “Either way, it looks as though our opposition will soon return to parliament,” it concludes.
“Hayots Ashkhar” welcomes the opposition stance in Strasbourg as a “very encouraging and positive precedent in the work of our parliamentarians in European structures.” “Favorable conditions are being created after October 7 for turning the unity acquired on the external front into mutual tolerance inside the country, alleviating animosity and hatred and sorting out the parliament’s activities. This also means that the time for the opposition’s return to the parliament has come.” All of this is setting the stage for a genuine dialogue between the two sides.
“Aravot” looks at the seventh anniversary of a famous newspaper article in which former President Levon Ter-Petrosian called for more concessions to Azerbaijan for the resolution of the Karabakh conflict. The paper sympathetic to Ter-Petrosian admits that the ex-president’s arguments were rejected by most Armenians at the time. But it says they disliked him, not his ideas because they had gone through enormous hardship under his rule. The dominant mood in the country was that “Levon plundered everything, destroyed the country and now wants to sell Karabakh to the Turks.” But the paper continues to believe that Ter-Petrosian was right in contending that a Karabakh settlement holds the key to Armenia’s development and that the current government is not interested in a peace deal with Azerbaijan. “The first president of Armenia preferred not to lie and not to pretend,” it says.
“Azg” quotes a senior Georgian customs official, Kakha Mikeladze, as saying that Georgia’s border with Russia remains open on the Georgian side and that it is the Russians that keep it closed. He says Armenian trucks stranded at the Verkhni Lars border crossing will have no trouble entering Georgia if they are allowed to leave Russian territory. The paper, for its part, says Moscow is spreading “disinformation” by blaming the Georgians for the situation.