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Press Review


“Many political forces in Armenia lack the courage to state outloud that what Serzh Sarkisian has agreed to [in the Karabakh peace process] is not acceptable to the Armenian side,” writes “Haykakan Zhamanak.” “They lack the courage to ask Serzh Sarkisian questions and demand answers from him. And so they attack [U.S. mediator Matthew] Bryza, who decides nothing and only carries out assignments in this process.” The opposition paper also accuses the authorities in Armenia and Karabakh of keeping ordinary Karabakh Armenians in the dark about their talks with Azerbaijan.

“Hraparak” carries an interview with Samvel Nikoyan, a deputy parliament speaker who heads an ad hoc parliamentary commission investigating the March 2008 violence in Yerevan. Nikoyan assures the paper that his commission is taking seriously all reports and documents submitted to it by the two opposition members of the recently disbanded Fact-Finding Group of Experts. “The commission compares that data with facts at its disposal and will draw conclusions,” he says, adding that some of that data is forwarded to government and law-enforcement bodies. Nikoyan at the same time chides the opposition members, Seda Safarian and Andranik Kocharian, for making expert judgments on the circumstances in which ten people were killed on March 1, 2008.

Speaking to “Aravot,” Galust Sahakian, the parliamentary leader of the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), praises opposition leader Levon Ter-Petrosian’s ongoing visits to the country’s regions. “It’s very good when not only the opposition but any political force holds [such] meetings from time to time,” he says. “The people need active meetings.” Sahakian at the same time dismisses Ter-Petrosian’s claims that the political situation in Armenia will change significantly this fall. “There can be no political change because there is no other political team with a promising program around,” he says.

Sahakian also brushes aside opposition claims that the so-called Madrid principles of Nagorno-Karabakh peace are less favorable for the Armenian side than a peace plan that had been advocated by Ter-Petrosian in 1997-1998. “For the first time, [the mediators] are talking not about the NKR’s status within Azerbaijan but a referendum which upholds self-determination of nations,” he explains. “The issue of Karabakh’s status is of paramount importance to us.”

“Iravunk” comments on this week’s incident in Turkey during which Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was accidentally hit by a man. “Can you imagine would happen if a citizen of Armenia smacked an official?” asks the paper. “Bodyguards would definitely take him out on the spot and he would not even have time to explain his deed. So one is left to conclude that as far the behavior of government bodyguards is concerned, we are well ahead of Turkey.”

(Tigran Avetisian)
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