“168 Zham” publishes an exclusive interview with Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov.
The Armenian paper, in particular, asks: “The so-called Madrid principles of Karabakh settlement imply a ‘reconciliation’ of the principles of territorial integrity and self-determination of nations. One of the mechanisms of this ‘reconciliation’, according to the statements made by the sides over the last few years, is the holding of a referendum in Nagorno-Karabakh. Is Azerbaijan really ready to agree to this mechanism?”
The Azerbaijani minister replies: “Before the withdrawal of troops and the return of forcibly displaced persons, the determination of the status is impossible either legally or morally and even from the technical point of view. And at the stage of the determination of Nagorno-Karabakh’s status we will be guided by international law and domestic legislation.”
The paper also asks about Baku’s views on a possible deployment of international peacekeepers in the conflict zone. Mammadyarov answers: “If we manage to reach agreement over the issue of international peacekeepers, it is necessary that they should play a role of stabilizers, which may promote trust between the Armenian and Azerbaijani communities.”
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” suggests President Serzh Sarkisian feels embarrassed because his opponents reveal the weak aspects of the Moscow declaration.
The paper quotes Sarkisian as reproaching his critics: “It is natural that the Azeris should be speculating. And why are you doing this? Do you mean to prompt them to do so or do you just enjoy Azeri speculations?”
“This is, indeed, a strange approach,” the pro-opposition daily comments. “That is, Sarkisian thinks that the Azeris can’t make it out themselves and do not understand how to use the points of the declaration vulnerable for us. But this is ridiculous…”
“Hraparak” writes on the same subject: “Serzh Sarkisian has accused political forces of studying the Turkish-Azeri press and making their conclusions based on their reporting. Our political forces would be glad if the Armenian press provided as much information as the Azeri-Turkish press does. In that case, there would be no need to read the foreign press.”
“Golos Armenii” does not exclude that some factions in the Armenian opposition may be successful in convincing the opposition leader to stage more rallies: “On October 17, from the stage near Matenadaran, opposition leader Levon Ter-Petrosian stated: ‘…the pause will not be long-lasting, since the Karabakh settlement is a matter of two or three months.” The matter concerned a pause in holding street demonstrations. A month has already passed since that statement. It is not excluded that Ter-Petrosian’s associates, encouraged by the ‘imminent denouement’ of the issue, will manage to convince him to break the pause and hold another rally until severe weather sets in.”
“Iravunk de-facto” writes: “Serzh Sarkisian has already got into the habit of putting on his camouflage and leaving for Karabakh in predawn hours of the morning. Why did he go there on Friday? Especially that several hours later the OSCE Minsk Group cochairmen would be in Karabakh. At first, it seemed that the local clashes in northern Azerbaijan were the reason for that prompt trip. There were tensions also along the Armenian-Azerbaijani line of contact, and there was a casualty reported there. In short, Sarkisian could promptly fly to Karabakh, again like during the previous military drills, to prove that Karabakh, which did not sign the Meiendorf declaration, is ‘ours’.”
And “Hayots Ashkhar” writes on the ongoing unrest proble: “After a detailed interrogation of Deputy Police Chief Alexander Afian during the latest meeting of the National Assembly’s ad hoc commission conducting the probe into the March 1-2 post-election clashes, one can draw one conclusion. As the commission insists, the state of Armenia is a unique state on Planet Earth where in no case can action be taken to protect public order.” “Moreover, law-enforcers is supposed to allow an armed crowd who took to the street in order to overthrow the constitutional order to do whatever they want,” the paper notes sardonically.