In a front-page editorial, “Haykakan Zhamanak” notes that the latest statement by the Armenian and Turkish foreign ministries came out just hours after the release of President Serzh Sarkisian’s interview with the BBC in which he accused Ankara of failing to honor agreements reached with Yerevan. The paper says the statement followed a phone conversation between U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu that focused on Turkish-Armenian relations. “It also emerged yesterday that Turkish President Abdullah Gul will again travel to Baku to discuss issues related to Turkish-Armenian relations,” it says. “Thus, very important developments are expected on the Turkish-Armenian front in the next six weeks.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” insists that further progress in the normalization of Turkish-Armenian relations remains contingent on a breakthrough in Armenian-Azerbaijani talks on Nagorno-Karabakh. The paper speculates that the U.S. forced Ankara and Yerevan to sign the fence-mending protocols in order to make sure that Sarkisian does not walk away from an unpopular compromise deal with Azerbaijan. “The two protocols mentioned in the trilateral statement are sufficient for stating that the two countries are on the brink of opening their border,” it says.
Speaking to “Iravunk de facto,” Andranik Kocharian, one of the two opposition members of the now defunct Fact-Finding Group of Experts, accuses Armenian security bodies of refusing to accept “obvious facts” relating to last year’s post-election unrest in Yerevan. Kocharian insists that riot police and other security forces were handed automatic rifles hours before the outbreak of their violent clashes with opposition protesters on March 1, 2009.
“As a rule, our society is inclined to believe in facts cited by our opposition,” editorializes “Aravot.” One of the reasons for that, explains the paper, that the March 1 protests left as many as ten people dead. “Therefore, the main task of the investigating body should have been to solve those killings,” it says. “The Special Investigative Service (SIS) has not done that in the past one and a half years. Against such a background, the SIS’s evaluations, criticisms and objections directed at the [latest] report released by the opposition members of the Fact-Finding Group are not worth a penny. Identify the murderers, put them on trial and only then say, ‘This person is wrong and that one is lying.’ As long as that is not done any oppositionist, journalist or [ordinary] citizen will have the right to present his facts, evaluations and theories. It is the SIS and those who have been ordering it not to solve that crime that are to blame for that.”