(Saturday, June 3)
“Azg” quotes President Robert Kocharian as telling reporters in the resort town of Jermuk that he has “very modest” expectations from his talks in Bucharest with Azerbaijan’s Ilham Aliev. “But it’s not that the situation is hopeless,” he added. “In particular, we are discussing one variant which in my view allows for a long-term and lasting settlement.”
But Kocharian went on to reiterate his pessimism. “I don’t understand why the Armenian people and the Karabakhis must be the first to conclude, all of a sudden, that they don’t need independence and must think about returning to some place,” he said without elaborating.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” wonders if this means Kocharian does not consider the Karabakh Armenians to be part of the Armenian people.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” claims that both Kocharian and Aliev intend to reject the peace plan put forward by international mediators. “The only new thing is that neither Kocharian nor Aliev want to see their intention exposed. Armenia’s president hopes that Aliev will refuse to sign [the Karabakh deal] so that he does have to rebuff the [Minsk Group] co-chairs, while Aliev hopes that everything will be all the way around.” Therefore, concludes the paper, the Bucharest talks will be little more than a “world cunning championship.”
Kocharian also commented in Jermuk on the Orinats Yerkir party’s removal from his governing coalition, confirming that his rapport with its leader Artur Baghdasarian has deteriorated in recent months. “Artur Baghdasarian tried to present himself with his own approaches on foreign policy issues, which in this case directly had to do with national security,” he said, according to “Hayastani Hanrapetutyun.” “I had to react here.”
“Aravot” quotes Andranik Hovakimian, a senior member of the former ruling HHSh party, as suggesting a different theory about Baghdasarian’s ouster from the post of parliament speaker. Hovakimian notes that under Armenia’s constitution it is the parliament speaker who has to take over as acting head of state in case the president of the president steps down. The speaker is also allowed to cede the temporary presidency to the prime minister, something which Hovakimian believes Baghdasarian would never do.
“Golos Armenii” says one of the main challenges facing the new speaker of the Armenian parliament, Tigran Torosian, is how to deal with scores of Orinats Yerkir members which Baghdasarian reportedly brought into the National Assembly staff during his three-year tenure. “Time will tell whether or not Torosian will manage to rid the parliament of that public,” says the paper.
“Hayots Ashkhar” reports that the volume of trade between Armenia and Iran has drastically fallen in the first five months of this year.