“Haykakan Zhamanak” says the U.S. State Department’s report on the situation with human rights in Armenia, which was released on Monday, was hardly different from the previous reports and there is no reason to expect a more positive U.S. assessment of Armenian human rights practices in the coming years. The paper says that could happen only if Armenia gets a “legitimate government” and holds free elections. It notes tartly that among few positive things noted by the 2004 report was that the Armenian authorities do not restrict Internet use in the country.
“If somebody in the CIS occupies a [government] post you can’t remove him from it even with a saw,” writes “Aravot.” “If not him, his sons or other relatives. But there are, of course, slight nuances. Unlike the Muslim states of the CIS, power is transferred within a particular clan in Armenia and other underdeveloped but Christian countries. Only a representative of one’s own clan can ensure the security, immunity and special privileges of an ex-president and his inner circle.”
“Armenia’s government is both inefficient and lazy,” claims “Iravunk.” “Moreover, it is mired in intrigues. A fierce struggle on who will inherit the president’s post is now in progress.” The paper dismisses talk of a possible dissolution of the Armenian parliament, arguing that fresh parliamentary elections would have an unpredictable outcome for President Robert Kocharian. It says the only way for Kocharian to prevent a revolution in Armenia and ensure a smooth handover of power is to embark on “radical reforms.” “That would mean a clash with criminal elements and the corrupt bureaucracy that played a great role in both the 1998 and 2003 presidential elections.”
In a separate comment, “Iravunk” claims that U.S. Ambassador to Armenia John Evans’s latest pronouncements on the Armenian genocide and the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict are part of a broader “stick-and-carrot policy” pursued by the United States.
“Azg” believes that Evans’s recognition of the genocide was “not accidental” despite his subsequent clarification that it reflected his personal view on the subject. “The statement by Ambassador Evans was aimed at sending a message to Ankara, a ploy often used in diplomacy,” says the paper.
“Hayots Ashkhar” says Evans’s statements suggest that the U.S. is no longer willing to help Turkey deny the genocide on the international stage. The paper says the remarks were “undoubtedly agreed with the U.S. administration.” “The speech [given by Evans in California] shows that Turkey now is not a strategic partner for the United States, but a mere tool for tactical games,” it speculates, adding that Washington expects “certain steps” from Ankara. “Turkey must either abandon the prospect of joining the European Union or its attempts to dictate conditions” for opening the border with Armenia.