“Aravot” describes as “extraordinary” a statement by the three co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group that was made public on Wednesday. “In essence, this statement means that the Minsk Group is abandoning its mediating mission,” says the paper. It fears that this could allow Azerbaijan to move the Karabakh peace process to other international bodies that are less sympathetic to the Armenian side.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” claims that the disclosed peace plan leaves the Armenian authorities vulnerable to domestic accusations of a Karabakh sellout. It says the Armenian public will be furious with Kocharian’s readiness to pullout of most of the Armenian-controlled Azerbaijani territories. “Thus, Robert Kocharian is faced with a clear choice: either he states before the Saint Petersburg summit of the G8 countries, i.e. July 15, that he is ready to sign the framework agreement signed by the co-chairs, or the international community will use its resources to remove Kocharian from power,” speculates the paper.
“What framework agreement do the mediators expect from the parties when one of them, Azerbaijan, is now busy openly revising the content of statements made by not only the Armenian Foreign Ministry but also Minsk Group co-chairs?” comments “Hayots Ashkhar.”
“The positive aspects of that proposed agreement are quite specific for Azerbaijan, while the positives for Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh are indirect,” says “Golos Armenii.” “Not that those indirect positives are less important for the future of Armenia and Karabakh, but that is a different matter.”
Opposition leader Artashes Geghamian tells “Aravot” that he believes the co-chairs’ statement is a “prelude to more drastic and resolute actions.” “Now they are somewhat enabling the parties to themselves reach agreement, find a compromise, after which I can say for certain that they will be invited to some place and kept there until the parties agree on … mutually acceptable concessions,” says Geghamian.
Oligarch Gagik Tsarukian assures “168 Zham” that he set up his Prosperous Armenia political party because he is not indifferent to Armenia’s future and wants to make it a better place. Tsarukian compares Armenia to a ship which is sailing through rough seas. “It doesn’t matter in what part of the ship you live today, in a deluxe or an ordinary cabin,” he reasons.
“168 Zham” reports that the governing Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) will be joined or supported by more wealthy businessmen and influential individuals in the coming weeks. “In effect, the seeming balance between the HHK and Prosperous Armenia is being breached in favor of the Republicans,” says the paper. “It is also obvious that such a massive reinforcement of the HHK is being carried out with Serzh Sarkisian’s consent and support.”
“Our surveys establish that there is a great deal of public discontent with the authorities,” pollster Gevorg Poghosian tells “Hayots Ashkhar.” “People are very unhappy with the judicial system, the government, the National Assembly, the president. But when it comes to pre-term regime change, our people are very cautious.”