(Saturday, September 26)
“Haykakan Zhamanak” predicts that President Serzh Sarkisian will mainly target undecided Diaspora Armenians in his upcoming visits to Russia, the United States, France and Lebanon aimed at promoting his policy on Turkey. The paper claims that Sarkisian is and will be paying little attention to what the Diaspora as a whole thinks of that policy.
“Azg” says that the timing of those trips will not be good as the Armenian parliament is due to hold hearings on the Turkish-Armenian protocols in Sarkisian’s absence from the country. The main purpose of the hearings, argues the paper, is to tell the president about the position of Armenia’s leading political forces. It says the issue has not been properly discussed. “It can even be said that journalists themselves organize those discussions by taking interviews, inviting representatives of political and expert circles to press clubs and TV studios … Neither the foreign minister, nor the president, who initiated the football diplomacy, are taking part in discussions inside Armenia.”
Former parliament speaker Tigran Torosian tells “Kapital” that the planned hearings will have no “practical consequences.” “Today the authorities regard the parliament not as an arena for presenting views but a mere appendage to the executive authority whose decisions have to be unconditionally endorsed,” he claims. “Of course, the National Assembly can also revolt. Not over such petty issues but only when there is a legitimate cause: the issue under discussion relates to the business interests of concrete individuals.”
“Golos Armenii” says that the Turkish-Armenian dialogue should have been used by Sarkisian’s Public Council to disprove a widely held view that it is an obedient body that has no influence on government policies. But, says the paper, with its passive stance the council is dealing a further blow to its own credibility and reputation. “Obviously, the Turkish-Armenian topic is now the most acute for Armenian society,” it says. “If council members think that their function is to present state structures with only views pleasing the authorities, they are badly mistaken.”
Aram Karapetian, the leader of the opposition Nor Zhamanakner party, tells “Zhamanak” that Sarkisian is ready to make major concessions to Turkey and Azerbaijan is to counter former President Levon Ter-Petrosian’s claims about Armenia’s regional isolation. “When a person comes to power with serious complexes he tries to rectify the situation by adopting and applying his rival’s views,” says Karapetian. “Besides, Serzh Sarkisian has always feared that he will receive the main blow from America and Europe. He is therefore trying to please them with these steps.”