“Hayots Ashkhar” describes as exemplary Armenia’s relationship with Iran. “The international community has always displayed and maintains a special attitude towards Armenia-Iran partnership programs,” writes the paper. “Therefore, one should not find accidental or extraordinary the fact that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is visiting Armenia at a time when Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisian is being given an unprecedented high-level reception in the USA. The international community perceives close cooperation between Armenia and Iran as a necessary element of ensuring regional stability which does not harm its fundamental interests.”
“Zhamanak Yerevan” claims that U.S. administration officials told Sarkisian that Washington may not support him in the upcoming presidential elections if former President Levon Ter-Petrosian decides to enter the fray. The paper also says that Sarkisian is no longer “euphoric” about prospects for the passage of the Armenian genocide resolution by the U.S. House of Representatives. “Before the visit [to the U.S.] the prime minister expressed readiness to meet congressmen and thank the [House] Foreign Affairs Committee for adopting the genocide resolution and moving it to the House floor,” it says. “However, the bill’s adoption is becoming increasingly unrealistic.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” says the Armenian authorities are so “scared” of Friday’s rally by Levon Ter-Petrosian that they instructed police to locate and tear up leaflets advertising the event. The paper claims that police departments in Yerevan have already formed special “groups” tasked with doing the job. “There is now a competition of sorts between those posting and destroying leaflets,” it says.
“Taregir” says a free pop concert financed by the governing Republican Party (HHK) and scheduled for Friday is another government ploy aimed at minimizing turnout at the Ter-Petrosian rally. “For normal governments of normal countries, losing power is not a terrible thing,” says the paper. “Furthermore, is it a natural, normal phenomenon, one of the necessary components of democracy.” In Armenia, by contrast, power is a “matter of life and death” because its rulers are “scared of being held answerable for their deeds, scared of not being forgiven.”
According to “Hayk,” one of the organizers of that concert, HHK deputy and businessman Ashot Aghababian, and his bodyguards beat up on Saturday a 60-year-old taxi driver whose car allegedly stood in the way of their motorcade.