Citing “well-informed sources,” “Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that Matthew Bryza, the U.S. assistant secretary of state for Europe and Eurasia, will be appointed as the new U.S. co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group. “This information will be either refuted or confirmed today because today will see Armenian Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian’s planned meeting with Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov with the participation of the co-chairs,” the paper says, adding that Bryza will also attend the talks.
“Golos Armenii” says several Armenian opposition groups are holding negotiations on the possibility of forming a “pro-American alliance.” “It will comprise Artur Baghdasarian, Raffi Hovannisian, Hovannes Hovannisian and Aram Sarkisian,” reports the paper. It believes that their electoral bloc will hardly attract a large following.
“168 Zham” reports that Armen Sarkisian, the London-based former prime minister of Armenia, has also submitted a bid for a 90 percent stake in the ArmenTel operator. The paper says Sarkisian has made a fortune in recent years advising multinational companies like British Petroleum and Alcatel on doing business in former Communist countries.
“If you think that Armenians are extremely concerned with the resignation of the National Assembly speaker, yet another failure of Karabakh talks in Bucharest or the dollar’s depreciation, you are badly mistaken,” writes “Aravot,” citing the findings of an opinion poll commissioned by it. The paper says the vast majority of those polled pointed instead to Armenia’s victory at the Chess Olympiad in Turin, the crash of an Armenian airliner as well as Armenian pop singer Andre’s successful performance in the Eurovision song contest. Only 5.4 percent of respondents referred to increased violence against Armenians living in Russia as a major development.
“The country’s supreme leadership continues to plunder its own people,” alleges “Iravunk” in connection with the renewed appreciation of the national currency, the dram. The paper claims that the exchange rate fluctuations are engineered by the Armenian authorities in order to enrich a handful of high-ranking officials and their business cronies. Citing an unnamed government source, it says the dram will continue to rise against the dollar in the next few months.