“168 Zham” criticizes the Armenian police for removing posters from the opposition sit-in in Yerevan, saying that the use of force will only boost attendance at Levon Ter-Petrosian’s September 5 rally. The paper says it will also add to Western bodies’ “negative attitude” towards the Armenian authorities.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” links the police actions with Tuesday’s concert in nearby Republic Square in honor of Armenian athletes that have just returned from the Olympic Games in Beijing. “The Armenian authorities are worried that people attending the concert could take the opportunity to join the opposition protest, just as they did during Serzh Sarkisian’s February 26 rally,” speculates the paper.
“Hayots Ashkhar,” meanwhile, praises the authorities for “cleaning Northern Avenue.”
“Aravot” says the Armenian opposition’s “extremely soft position” on the Russian-Georgian war demonstrates that all major political forces in Armenia are pro-Russian. “Therefore, the official propaganda machine’s allegation that the West has a fifth column in Armenia bent on carrying out a U.S.-engineered color revolution here is baseless,” editorializes the paper.
“Hayastani Hanrapetutyun” reports on a youth forum in the Armenian town of Dilijan during which Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian reiterated Yerevan’s calls for an unconditional normalization of Turkish-Armenian relations. “We stand ready to establish relations with Turkey without preconditions,” Sarkisian is quoted as saying. “Our current relationship creates a situation that does not benefit anyone.” Armenia and Turkey can not be “perpetual rivals,” he said.
“Golos Armenii” says Azerbaijan should thank Georgia for its “South Ossetian adventure which could open the Azerbaijanis’ eyes and make them understand that the forcible variant of restoring Azerbaijan’s non-existent territorial integrity is a self-deception.”
Interviewed by “Hayots Ashkhar,” Armen Rustamian, chairman of the Armenian parliament’s foreign relations committee, says Armenia should not follow Russia’s example and rush to formally recognize Nagorno-Karabakh’s independence. Rustamian, who is also a leader of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, says Armenia should first formalize its “military-political alliance” with Karabakh.
“168 Zham” carries an interview with Aram Manukian, an opposition politicians who has spent the past six months in hiding. Manukian says he is not afraid of being arrested. He also gives details of the March 1 dispersal of the opposition tent camp in Yerevan, dismissing the official version of events as a “joke.”