“Aravot” says Armenian government officials accuse their opponents of exploiting the 1999 parliament attack for political purposes but they themselves admit that the case has not been solved. The paper cites comments made by Prime Minister Andranik Markarian and other senior officials at the Yerablur military cemetery on Wednesday.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” says Wednesday’s commemorations of the fifth anniversary of the shootings were no different from previous ceremonies. As always, General Manvel Grigorian, the deputy defense minister and a former comrade-in-arms of assassinated Prime Minister Vazgen Sarkisian, hid behind Military Prosecutor Gagik Jahangirian’s back at the sight of journalists. “I’ve told you a thousand times to keep your TV sets away from me,” he is quoted as telling television cameramen. The paper notes that none of the senior officials at Yerablur said the crime has been solved.
“If there is anything that has changed in the last five years, it is the hardening of popular memory,” “Haykakan Zhamanak” continues. “Robert Kocharian used to say that he has a lot to say and will do that when the right moment comes. The trial [of the parliament gunmen] drew to a close but that moment never came.”
“It turns out that everybody had something to say [on the October 27 case] as if we were talking about their private life,” the lawyer for the late Karen Demirchian’s family, Ashot Sargsian, tells “168 Zham.” “Many were not interrogated at all.” Sargsian dismisses as untrue prosecutors’ claims that they continue to look for possible masterminds. “We are not waiting until the current authorities quit to say that we suspect them of involvement in the [October] 27 crime. We are loudly saying that now,” he adds.
“Hayots Ashkhar” says the opposition Artarutyun alliance is now following an even tougher line on the government than during the 2003 presidential race when it was attracting a much larger following. The paper again claims that the opposition is manipulated by foreign powers seeking more Armenian concessions on Nagorno-Karabakh. One of the ways of achieving that is to form a “defeatist opposition” in Armenia.
In an interview with “Haykakan Zhamanak,” the British ambassador to Armenia, Thorda Abbott-Watt says she sees no weakening of Armenia’s bargaining position in Karabakh peace talks which is claimed by opposition leaders. She says both Armenia and Azerbaijan should make “difficult decisions” to resolve their conflict. “Nobody can get everything it wants,” she says.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” makes the point in a separate comment that that Turkey’s membership in the European Union would be good for Armenia. “If we share the view that Turkey is indeed a hostile state and a potential threat to Armenia, we must be even more interested in that country’s membership in the EU,” writes the paper. An EU member Turkey would be even less likely invade Armenia. “And perhaps it is the Turkey’s accession talks with the EU that is our main safeguard against the resumption of the war with Azerbaijan.”