“Armenia would on the whole benefit from the opening of the border [with Turkey,] but the border must not be opened at any cost,” writes “Hayk.” “It is inadmissible to open the border with preconditions because in that case the same border could be periodically closed [by Turkey] and fresh preconditions could be dictated to our country before every border reopening. It is unacceptable that the normalization of Turkish-Armenian relations is directly or indirectly linked with the Karabakh problem.”
Deputy Foreign Minister Arman Kirakosian tells “Hayots Ashkhar” that the planned creation of a Turkish-Armenian inter-governmental commission dealing with wide-ranging issues of mutual interest will enable Armenia to “raise our issues, demands relating to our cultural heritage, history and other contentious issues.” “We must do that with one voice. We can’t embark on such discussions while being divided,” says Kirakosian. “We can achieve a lot through dialogue if we are organized, united and able to put those issues on a legal plane … The authorities are determined to continue this process and sign the protocols. I am sure that they are absolutely not dangerous to us.”
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” attacks Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian over his statements on the Karabakh peace process. The paper dismisses a key provision of international mediators’ existing peace plan that calls for a referendum of self-determination in Karabakh. It claims that the return of Azerbaijani territories surrounding Karabakh would spark an exodus of Armenians from the disputed region.
Former parliament speaker Tigran Torosian assures “Haykakan Zhamanak” that he never blamed the tens of thousands of Armenians who took to the streets after the February 2008 presidential election. “What I found unacceptable were the vicious phenomena as a consequence of which people got killed and wounded in connection with political processes,” he says. Torosian says the authorities have still not answered several important questions related to the post-election violence. “Furthermore, shortcomings within our political system have deepened further and taken new forms,” he adds.
Zhirayr Sefilian, a prominent nationalist activist tells “Iravunk” that he will leave the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK) if it fails to change its position on Turkish-Armenian relations.