“Haykakan Zhamanak” claims that the Armenian-Azerbaijani talks at Rambouillet failed because Robert Kocharian rejected Ilham Aliev’s demands for the quick and unconditional liberation of Kelbajar, one of the seven Azerbaijani districts occupied by Armenian forces. The paper insinuates that Kelbajar is now the main stumbling block in the negotiating process. “This means that one of the parties must yield on the Kelbajar issue,” it concludes.
“Hayots Ashkhar” comments sarcastically that the chairman of Armenia’s former ruling HHSh party, Ararat Zurabian, sought to build on Karl Marx’s political theory when he said the following last week: “The HHSh does not exist in the political arena as a political factor today. But a single article by a member of the HHSh board, Vano Siradeghian, is in any case more influential than activities of a whole Armenian political party. Now if Levon [Ter-Petrosian] says a couple of things, I think the arena will be completely stirred up.”
“Aravot” tries to find out whether Kocharian has congratulated the autocratic president of Belarus, Aleksandr Lukashenko, on his hotly disputed reelection. “Robert Kocharian apparently congratulated him,” says Aghasi Arshakian, an Armenian parliamentarian sympathetic to Lukashenko. “But at the same time he instructed media not to spread [the word about] that congratulation. I just think that it was not possible to beg for the [U.S. government’s] Millennium Challenge alms and at the same time publicly congratulate a leader who is far legitimate than he but is not accepted by individuals who let others beg money from them.”
“Iravunk” reports that unknown individuals were spreading on Monday leaflets among university students in Yerevan saying that the opposition Artarutyun alliance and the National Unity Party will hold a joint rally in Yerevan on Sunday. Aram Sargsian, a senior member of Artarutyun, is quoted as dismissing the leaflets as a “provocation.” “It looks as though somebody is trying to slander the Artarutyun alliance and National Unity,” he says.
“168 Zham” comments on oligarch Mikhail Baghdasarov’s statement that he has not yet decided whom to support in next year’s parliamentary election. “It is evident that Baghdasarov will stand where Serzh Sarkisian stands,” writes the paper. It says Baghdasarov will announce his choice immediately after Sarkisian ascertains his pre-election plans.