(Saturday, March 4)
“Aravot” quotes Prosecutor-General Aghvan Hovsepian as saying in an extensive interview with several journalists that he has numerous “close friends” in a broad range of Armenian political parties. “These relationships with representatives of all parliament factions and groups are enabling me, as prosecutor-general, to keep the prosecution system immune to all kinds of political influences,” he says. “I must say that I have so far succeeded in doing that. I am constantly conscious of the fact that I am the prosecutor-general of not a particular stratum or party but of all residents of the Republic of Armenia.”
“The post of prosecutor-general is not a political one,” Hovsepian says, according to “Hayots Ashkhar.” “Therefore it makes no sense to create a political party for reinforcing that post.” Hovsepian adds that he will do everything to make sure that his Nig-Aparan organization avoids taking part in political processes and transforming itself into a party. “I do not, did not and will not engage in politics,” he concludes.
“Aravot” quotes several opposition leaders as dismissing President Robert Kocharian’s latest statements on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. “It was a response of a man in panic,” alleges National Unity Party leader Artashes Geghamian. “I don’t think that recognition of Nagorno-Karabakh should be turned into a bargaining chip now that the situation is tense,” says Aram Karapetian of the Nor Zhamanakner party, adding that it must be Armenia’s last resort. In the words of Hovannes Igitian, a senior member of the former ruling HHSh party, Armenia “must not make aggressive statements.”
But deputy parliament speaker Tigran Torosian makes a diametrically opposite point in an interview with “Azg.” “I totally agree with the views of the president of the republic regarding desirable and effective variants of the format and course of negotiations,” he says, arguing that Kocharian’s statements came in response to the latest war-mongering by Azerbaijan.
“If they speak of only forcible solutions in Baku now, Armenia too must be ready for a riposte,” the other parliament vice-speaker, Vahan Hovannisian, tells “Hayots Ashkhar.” “You can’t bury your head in the sand and pretend not to see views publicly expressed by the Azerbaijani side,” he says.
“Hayots Ashkhar” notes in that regard that Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliev has made it crystal clear that he does not like the OSCE Minsk Group’s current peace proposals because he thinks Azerbaijan can play for time and use its rising oil revenues for strengthening its armed forces. “If Azerbaijan is trying to nullify, with such a primitive ploy, the enormous efforts by the mediating countries and international organizations to establish peace in the region and if the Washington talks are as unsuccessful as they were at Rambouillet, the latter must arrive at appropriate conclusions,” says the paper.