“Haykakan Zhamanak” asks MP Ruben Hayrapetian, of the governing Republican Party of Armenia, to comment on repeated police interventions in the hunger strike of Karabakh war veterans at Yerevan’s military cemetery protesting what they perceive as Yerevan’s readiness for unilateral territorial concessions to Azerbaijan.
“You know, these people have the right to present their demands because they fought and shed blood. But when our nation engaged in the war we originally never intended to capture those territories. But eventually we did seize them to establish a security zone for Karabakh. We had never set ourselves the goal of seizing land from Azerbaijan. Our goal was to defend Karabakh,” Hayrapetian says.
“Zhamanak-Yerevan” carries an interview with former prime minister Hrant Bagratian who comments on Karabakh leader Bako Sahakian’s statement that no one is going to withdraw from Armenian-controlled districts outside Karabakh proper and, furthermore, that there are development projects for the districts of Lachin and Kelbajar.
“No doubt, it is very worrisome that Karabakh is absent [from the negotiating table] at this stage of the settlement. But Bako Sahakian’s statement on the projects is good. I have only one remark as the initiator of the resettlement of the liberated territories in 1994. I want to put a question this way: why did you, in the first place, fail to prevent half of these areas’ population from leaving over the last decade? Who should be held responsible for that?... Why have these territories been given to only a few oligarchs?” Bagratian charged.
“Hayots Ashkhar” writes on the opposition reaction to Armenia’s victory at the World Chess Olympiad and the subsequent events honoring the winning chessmen at home.
“Although [first president and current opposition leader] Levon Ter-Petrosian’s Armenian National Congress had “wholeheartedly” congratulated the chessmen on their success, already on Thursday, the opposition’s saddened propaganda machine was crying foul because the air of all television companies was full of reports praising the head of state and pushing the chess players themselves to the far background.”
“It is a fact that the opposition has a fundamental reason for blackening the celebration. Because the current president has done what their chess-loving patron once failed to do. They just can’t accept this in any way,” the pro-establishment daily comments.
“Lragir.am” acknowledges that Serzh Sarkisian may be a much more tolerant president than his two predecessors, a president who more appreciates the benefits of a dialogue.
“But it does not at all mean he has advantage over Levon Ter-Petrosian and Robert Kocharian. The thing is that when you see the leaders of Armenia’s 50 political parties who participated in the well-known president-hosted discussion on Karabakh and then expressed opinions about him and generally about the Karabakh issue, you start to fully understand both Ter-Petrosian and Kocharian… The thing is that both Ter-Petrosian and Kocharian used to show a great deal of adequacy and rational approach as far as this issue was concerned. And what can you expect to hear from party leaders whose ultimate bliss is to get a chance of coming as close as 30 meters to the president once a year?” the paper comments.