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Press Review


Reporting on ex-chief of presidential staff Artashes Tumanian’s decision to leave the party he had himself initiated, Haykakan Zhamanak writes that it looks even stranger that he didn’t provide any explanations regarding his move to his supporters. Instead, he passed his decision through a mouthpiece, verbally: “I am leaving the party. This is what needs to be done.”

According to www.lragir.am, Tumanian did not retire voluntarily. The website’s sources claim that recently Tumanian was summoned first to the police department fighting organized crime and later to the national security service where he spent a total of several hours. The website writes that it is after these “visits” that he “understood” that ‘there is no need to establish another party in Armenia.’

Reminding that the court issued a ruling to evict former TV station A1 Plus from its current premises on the basis of a lawsuit of President of the National Academy of Sciences Fadei Sargsian, Haykakan Zhamanak concludes: “That is perhaps the last service Fadei Sargsian offers to [President] Robert Kocharian as President of the National Academy of Sciences.

“The authorities are trying to ultimately deprive A1 Plus of any opportunity to work,” Aravot writes on the subject.

Citing its sources, Iravunk weekly writes that U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Daniel Fried had a very tough discussion with Armenian President Robert Kocharian but apparently failed to reach agreement around Karabakh settlement principles. Meanwhile, according to the paper, during the dinner with opposition and pro-government politicians the previous night the American diplomats dropped hints that the U.S. would deploy its peacekeeping forces in the territory of Karabakh before July-August.

According to the paper, the local political oppositionists express the opinion that [OSCE Minsk Group cochairman from the U.S.] Steven Mann, Daniel Fried and the Pentagon’s Colonel Michael Andresen have a clear knowledge of the dates when the problem is to be solved, what they have to do for that and are strictly and resolutely taking the matter towards a solution. In other words, a Karabakh settlement in 2006 is unavoidable.

Haykakan Zhamanak writes that during the reception Daniel Fried in fact did not say anything new and quotes one of those attending the dinner party as saying the following: “He shared his impressions of his earlier meeting with [Azerbaijan’s President] Ilham Aliev and said with confidence that Aliev left an impression on him of a person who would never start a war, as he is the most moderate among politicians in Azerbaijan. Fried said that Aliev issues bellicose statements for domestic use. Fried put it straight that Aliev tells one thing to the Minsk Group cochairmen and a totally different thing to his country’s people.”

Hayastani Hanrapetutyun quotes an excerpt from Armenian Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian’s interview to H2 TV’s Lraber newscast on Thursday night in which he was asked to responded to Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliev’s repeated war rhetoric and comparison of Azerbaijan’s military budget to the state budget of Armenia: “It is not the first time we hear about the increase in Azerbaijan’s military budget. It seems that this budget is increasing from day to day and perhaps that’s the reason that Azeri soldiers keep violating the ceasefire regime on the borders to consumer that surplus of ammunition.”

Those attending a roundtable discussion invited by the Initiative Group In Defense of Liberated Territories were angry that the defense minister today speaks more frequently about handover of territories than any other official, Ayb-Fe writes.

Azg cites ex-defense minister Vazgen Manukian’s estimation made at that same discussion: “Serzh Sarkisian made the statement for one purpose – to appeal to the West, because struggle in Armenia is waged not for territories or Karabakh, but for keeping the power.”

In Aravot the Armenian Revolutionary Federation Supreme Council of Armenia Representative, MP Armen Rustamian assures: “We do not want authorities to keep reproducing themselves. We have mainly reached the political understanding that in order to have effective government in the country people must become an essential participant in forming the authorities through elections.”

Analyzing the activities of Armenia’s oppositionists, Ayb-Fe’s commentator concludes: “It is already two years that futile attempts have been made to create an ideological, pro-western, liberal, revolutionary format through different configurations. As there is no certainty regarding what one should do and say, the format won’t emerge.”

(Hrach Melkumian)
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