“Hayots Ashkhar” says that Azerbaijan is trying to raise the issue of alleged bushfires in its Armenian-occupied lands as part of its broader efforts to obstruct the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process. The paper sees Azerbaijani attempts to “disguise the fact that after the failure of the Rambouillet and Bucharest talks Armenia is waiting to see when the mediators leading the OSCE Minsk Group will manage to overcome Azerbaijan’s and its president’s arbitrary and constantly changing attitude to the clear-cut proposals put by the mediators on the negotiating table.” “Azerbaijan’s leadership needs to hold out until the beginning of 2007 when the parliamentary election campaign in Armenia will be in full swing. It will be followed by presidential elections due in both countries, and the signing of a peace accord will be delayed at least until 2009.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” says Azerbaijan’s Karabakh policy since 1998 has boiled down to playing for time and driving Armenia out of as many regional projects as possible. “That is, the Kocharian-Oskanian duo was frank when it spoke of progress in the Karabakh negotiating process,” writes the paper. “Heydar Aliev probably repeatedly told Kocharian that he is ready to recognize Karabakh’s independence and set some conditions in order to make his assurances seem serious. But that was a diplomatic bluff. The course is continued by Ilham [Aliev].”
“Zhamanak Yerevan” says most political parties in Armenia are “closed clubs” where key decisions are taken by a small circle of leaders who don’t care about the opinion of their rank-and-file members. It makes the point that politicians not tolerating dissent within their parties can not establish democracy in the country.
“Taregir” claims that Defense Minister Serzh Sarkisian has turned the governing Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) into an “unpredictable political structure.” The papers says few expected that Sarkisian will use his loyal “feudal oligarchs” not only against opposition forces but the Republicans. “This should have been expected,” it says. “Sarkisian has his own clear political calculations and will use the HHK for playing his own game, something which was to precipitate, sooner or later, a conflict between real Republicans and the artificially imported elements.”