“Turkey’s policy on Armenia is amazingly similar to the policy which Armenia’s authorities have pursued in the past year in the context of solving internal political issues,” writes “Haykakan Zhamanak.”
The paper says both Ankara and Yerevan have taken merely symbolic steps designed to mislead the international community and “blunt” its concerns. It says they have done everything to “avoid real solutions.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” notes that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan toughened his position on the normalization of Turkish-Armenian relations immediately after U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to Turkey. “He even started calling for moving discussions on the Karabakh issue to the UN Security Council,” says the paper. “This means that Turkey has made certain concessions to the United States on other regional issues and therefore hopes that the U.S. president will avoid mentioning the Armenian genocide in his April 24 address. On April 10, Turkey’s prime minister simply ruled out the signing of an agreement with our country until the Karabakh conflict is resolved … After all this it seems that the Turkish side is not only closing the window of opportunity but also gaining some tactical advantage over an Armenia expecting a border opening from it.”
Interviewed by “Taregir,” Artsvik Minasian, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation’s candidate for Yerevan mayor, condemns the police dispersal of daily opposition gatherings on Yerevan’s Northern Avenue as a violation of citizens’ constitutional rights. “A heated struggle is expected on May 31,” he says. “But let us hope that that struggle will be one of programs, rather than individuals. Minasian is also unhappy with President Serzh Sarkisian’s recent decision to appoint the mayoral candidate of his Republican Party (HHK), Gagik Beglarian, as Yerevan mayor. “God willing, [the HHK’s] administrative levers will not be used for stealing citizens’ votes,” he warns.
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” says that Sarkisian could not have released all “political prisoners” since taking office a year ago because that would have meant that the authorities are solely responsible for the March 1, 2008 violence in Yerevan. “He became president as a result of the March 1 events,” says the opposition daily. “Therefore, the release of the political prisoners would mean that he is not legitimate.”
Vartan Bostanjian, an economist and pro-government parliamentarian, tells “Golos Armenii” that the Armenian authorities and commercial banks will have serious trouble redistributing a $50 million World Bank loan to small and medium-sized enterprises in need of credit. “I rule out the launch of any manufacturing with loans provide with such high and, more importantly, unfounded interest rates,” says Bostanjian. “Even in the area of small and medium-sized business.”