(Saturday, April 16)
“Aravot” singles out the Minsk Group co-chairs’ calls on the Armenian and Azerbaijani authorities to prepare their publics for a compromise solution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, reporting on their joint statement issued on Friday. “Using diplomatic language, the co-chairs are implying that Yerevan and Baku should prepare their peoples for painful concessions,” says the paper. “However, the Armenian and especially Azerbaijani authorities are moving in the opposite direction, trying to assure their publics that a solution will leave them happy and the opposite side unhappy.”
“In essence, official Yerevan already began preparing Armenian society for possible mutual concessions before the co-chairs’ call,” disagrees “Azg.” “As Defense Minister Serzh Sarkisian said earlier, the conflict’s resolution will be painful for both sides because there are no painless concessions.” The paper also says that the mediators hinted at the possibility of a breakthrough in the peace process in their statement.
“Aravot” reports that President Robert Kocharian’s working visit to France, which was postponed earlier this month, is now scheduled for April 20-23. Kocharian is due to meet with President Jacques Chirac and other French officials.
“Azg” reports that U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will visit the three South Caucasus states next month. U.S. Ambassador to Azerbaijan Reno Harnish is quoted as saying that Rice will discuss the Karabakh dispute in Baku.
“Hayots Ashkhar” reports that a senior member of the Orinats Yerkir Party has dismissed rumors that its leader, parliament speaker Artur Baghdasarian, could soon be dismissed by other pro-presidential forces to give way to a new parliament majority. “I don’t think that the formation of a new majority is possible,” says Mher Shahgeldian. “We don’t understand what that means and which political forces would be in that majority.”
“There won’t be a new majority,” contends “Aravot,” quoting other pro-Kocharian lawmakers, including Karen Karapetian of the People’s Deputy group. Karapetian says he has not even discussed such possibility with anyone.