“Lragir.am” comments on political implications of Armenia’s latest victory at the World Chess Olympiad.
“It would seem that 2008 is not at all a pre-election year and this year’s chess success of Armenia should not be used for other purposes. However, the first minutes of the victory, unfortunately, showed a different thing as the victory brought President Serzh Sarkisian into a TV spotlight on an equal footing with the true heroes of the moment, the chess players.”
“Aravot” interviews a leading expert of the European Stability Initiative organization, Nigar Goksel, on the Armenian-Turkish relations.
“I think that it would be much easier for Turkey to start the normalization of its relations with Armenia and the opening of borders if the Armenian side made some step in settling the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict [with Azerbaijan]. For example, it could be withdrawing from some territory or at least making some pledge to do that,” says the Turkish expert. “It is very funny but when you speak about Armenian-Turkish relations, Turkey says ‘let’s set history aside and then move on’, and Armenians say ‘let’s set the Karabakh issue aside’ and move on. So, both sides have problems with leaving something aside, which complicates the situation. But there is a growing realization among Turks today that one shouldn’t link everything with history.”
“Pakagits” lambastes the parliament’s only opposition party, which unlike the other main opposition forces, participated in last week’s Karabakh consultations held between President Serzh Sarkisian and leaders of about five dozen political parties.
“But Zharangutyun (Heritage) still has not come up with any clear political evaluation and statement to give a sense of orientation to its own electorate, who want to understand whether this party is an opposition or is just pretending to be one,” the paper charged.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” presents some information on President Serzh Sarkisian’s major policy speech in parliament on October 2 that was preceded by increased expectations of a declaration of amnesty for numerous opposition supporters and activists jailed on charges stemming from their alleged roles in the post-election unrest.
The radical opposition newspaper writes: “As our sources in government reveal, several officials concerned with the prospect of a release of political prisoners hurried to Serzh Sarkisian before that speech and tried to convince him not to make any step towards releasing political prisoners. They are: Prosecutor-General Aghvan Hovsepian, Justice Minister Gevorg Danielian, Parliament Speaker Hovik Abrahamian, MPs Ruben Hayrapetian, Samvel Aleksanian, Arakel Movsisian, Levon Sargsian, former mayor of Yerevan’s district of Erebuni Mher Sedrakian. According to reliable sources, the mentioned officials tried to convince the president that the release of the political prisoners would spell a disastrous end for both them and Sarkisian himself.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” comments on last week’s visit of the Council of Europe’s commissioner for human rights Thomas Hammarberg to Armenia: “The commissioner issued a stern warning in public, stressing it at least five or six times, that his future report will be strongly critical, something that he never did during his previous visits. He also threatened with sanctions, thus in effect promising to fulfill the dreams of Armenia’s ‘revolutionary leaders’ to have the Armenian delegation at the PACE stripped of its voting rights.”
“Bravo, Thomas!” the pro-establishment newspaper continues sarcastically. “How can those who had organized the March 1 unrest help venerating their commissioner?”