Levon Zurabian, a former presidential spokesman and now an analyst with the International Crisis Group, tells “168 Zham” that a peace plan that was recently put forward by the influential Western think-tank offers a “mechanism for achieving Nagorno-Karabakh’s independence.” Zurabian says international recognition of that independence would be a real possibility “in the future.” “The only way out today is [Karabakh’s] delayed status which allows Karabakh to maintain its de facto independence from Azerbaijan, to receive an internationally recognized interim status and to fight for full-fledged independence in peaceful conditions,” he argues.
“168 Zham” claims that President Robert Kocharian is set to fire the chief of Armenia’s National Security Service, Gorik Hakobian, after his official residence was found to be bugged. The paper cites its sources in the presidential administration as saying that Kocharian expressed his displeasure with Hakobian’s overall track record a few days ago.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” says Defense Minister Serzh Sarkisian’s “silence” over his further political plans is holding up the anticipated “process of regroupings” on the Armenian political stage. The paper says Sarkisian is making it much more difficult for various political groups to “orient themselves” ahead of the next elections. “It is clear that the moment he names the party with which he will run for parliament we will have a final and complete picture of the political regroupings.”
“168 Zham” reports that parliament speaker Artur Baghdasarian met with the former Karabakh army commander Samvel Babayan to offer him to join forces for the 2007 parliamentary election. “Samvel Babayan gave no definite answer and promised to think,” says the paper.
“Hayots Ashkhar” says Armenian oligarch’s entry into big politics has “frightened” mainstream political parties. “Every report that one or another ‘money bag’ is preparing to create or has already created his own party and will take part in the parliamentary elections of 2007 is causing [party] leaders to shiver nervously,” comments the paper.
“Aravot,” meanwhile, quotes parliament deputy Victor Dallakian as denying rumors that he will soon quit the opposition Artarutyun bloc and join the Prosperous Armenia party of oligarch Gagik Tsarukian. “There is no such thing,” he says.
According to “Hayots Ashkhar,” Dallakian assured fellow Artarutyun members on Wednesday that he is “not preparing to leave the opposition field and to join the party formed by businessman Gagik Tsarukian.” “We wonder if Gagik Tsarukian will endure such a fateful blow,” the paper notes sarcastically.