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Press Review


“Iravunk” cites government sources as saying that Robert Kocharian returned to Yerevan from Paris in a foul mood, refusing to meet anyone and heading straight to his winter retreat in the resort town of Tsaghkadzor. The paper expects that Kocharian’s “difficulties on the external front will multiply in the coming weeks and require urgent solutions.”

According to “168 Zham,” Kocharian held separate meetings with leaders of the three governing parties in Tsaghkadzor to express his discontent with their failure to install his adviser Armen Harutiunian as Armenia’s human rights ombudsman. The paper says Kocharian was particularly furious with their public remarks that opposition candidate Hrant Khachatrian would also make a good ombudsman. “Robert Kocharian is seriously concerned that after those statements Armen Harutiunian will not pass the threshold of 79 votes during the upcoming vote [in parliament].”

“Hayots Ashkhar” blames the collapse of the Rambouillet talks on Azerbaijan’s perceived intransigent stance. “It is evident that the principles put forward by the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group were based on two pillars: return of some of the liberated territories in exchange for a delayed referendum. By rejecting one of these principles and formulating it as a matter of Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity, Azerbaijan’s leadership deliberately led the Rambouillet talks into deadlock.”

Interviewed by “Hayots Ashkhar,” deputy parliament speaker Tigran Torosian says international organizations should end their long-running policy of equating Armenia with Azerbaijan after the failed summit. “This would help to broaden their room for maneuver and to take steps against the party which is dragging out the negotiations,” he says. “Otherwise … there will hardly be any real possibilities of settling the Karabakh conflict in the near future.”

“One may wonder why the West is not exerting pressure on Azerbaijan to accept the Rambouillet variant of a settlement,” “Aravot” says in an editorial. “This might have happened had we been even half a step ahead of Azerbaijan in terms of being a democratic and civilized country. But because the leaders of the two countries are displaying the same authoritarian mentality, it is meaningless to expect any privileges [from the international community].” The paper says the peace deal discussed at Rambouillet could serve as a “basis for sound mutual compromise.” “But as was the case at Key West [in April 2001], the Azerbaijani side proved unprepared to take the decisive step towards peace.”

“After the blow suffered at Rambouillet it will be really difficult for the co-chairs to come up with something new for continuing negotiations,” writes “Haykakan Zhamanak.” The paper claims that both conflicting parties fooled the international community last year into thinking that the Karabakh conflict can be resolved in 2006.

(Hrach Melkumian)
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