“Azg” quotes Vazgen Manukian, a veteran politician heading President Serzh Sarkisian’s Public Council, as welcoming the latest Turkish-Armenian statement as a “very resolute and important step.” “Please explain why all Armenian people except some forces that want to topple the government at any cost would be against the normalization of Turkish-Armenian relations, the opening of roads,” Manukian tells the paper. “What should it generate such discontent? I think that even after this step even the issue of genocide recognition will be easier,” he says.
Khosrov Hartiunian, another member of the Public Council, also defends the Turkish-Armenian protocols in an interview with “Hayots Ashkhar.” He argues that they make no reference to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. “Turks are quite skillful diplomats and they know very well that if they try to link this document to the Karabakh issue then Turkey’s responsibility for the Cyprus conflict will clearly come to the fore,” he says. “So let us get rid of this incredulity syndrome and try to analyze the document in an impartial way.”
“I think that when Turkish-Armenian relations are settled, when there is bilateral cooperation, when elements of mutual trust emerge, one of the most powerful resources with which Russia influences Armenian society will disappear,” Zardusht Alizade, an Azerbaijani pundit, tells “Aravot.” “The Russian influence is now anchored not in economic potential or so-called soft power but provocation of and influence on conflicts, on close ties with criminal elements in Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Nagorno-Karabakh and the Caucasian republics.”
“Zhamanak” suspects that the Armenian government is “absolutely unaware of the content of the process of Turkish-Armenian relations” and gets scant information about it from occasional “phone calls from Washington and Moscow.” The pro-opposition paper also suggests that not all of the Turkish-Armenian understandings have been made public.
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” comments on an opposition report purporting to show that illegal armed groups formed by pro-government oligarchs were also involved in the violent break-up of the March 2008 opposition protests in Yerevan. “In any normal country, publication of such a list would bring about a huge political scandal, high-profile trials, sackings of ministers,” says the paper. “But in Armenia nothing has happened. People have received [the information] as an already known truth and moved on.”