Deputy Foreign Minister Arman Kirakosian assures “Hayastani Hanrapetutyun” that Armenia will be able to maintain good relations with the both United States and Iran under the new Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Kirakosian, who previously served as Armenian ambassador in Washington, argues that Armenian-Iranian ties have a very long history. “Otherwise, we would have to say that if the United States views Turkey as an ally then we must have long had a friendly relationship with that country,” he says.
Kirakosian also comments on the wave of “revolutions” across the former Soviet Union. “Changes do not take place only by means of revolutions,” he says. “In my view, those changes [in Armenia] must be evolutionary.”
“It is very likely that the long-awaited divorce of the Artarutyun bloc and the Hanrapetutyun party will take place as a result of their differences over constitutional reforms,” says “Haykakan Zhamanak.” The paper draws this conclusion from Wednesday’s meeting of Hanrapetutyun’s governing Political Council.
“Carrying out constitutional reform with these authorities means legitimizing and achieving a political accord with these authorities,” a senior member of Hanrapetutyun, Gegham Harutiunian, tells “Aravot.” “In that case, the issues of restoring constitutional order and illegitimacy of the authorities will fade away.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” explains that radical opposition groups like Hanrapetutyun fear that a government-opposition cooperation on constitutional reform could drive them out of the political arena. “That is why scuttling the process of constitutional reform is becoming their last chance to establish themselves,” says the paper. “Good dancers can also dance well to a new, European music, while those who can’t dance will always [claim to] be hampered by something.”
“Revolutions financed from abroad take place in countries whose citizens are prepared to make their lives better,” writes “168 Zham.” “Those intervening in revolutions intervene in the aspirations and wishes of the masses.” The paper also takes the view that political consensus on the constitution is more beneficial for the ruling regime than its opponents and the country as a whole.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” says Armenian oligarchs have found a new way of avoiding taxes, registering companies in offshore tax heavens and then investing on their behalf to cash in on tax privileges given to foreign investors. The paper says a newly built luxury hotel in Yerevan, ostensibly owned by a Cyprus-registered company, is a vivid example of that. “Our legislation seems to permit such machinations and it sets no mechanisms for punishing such evildoers.”