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Press Review


“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” is not impressed by Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian’s objections that delayed the signing of the Turkish-Armenian agreements in Zurich on Saturday. “What was the use of paying so much attention to [Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet] Davutoglu’s three-minute statement?” asks the opposition paper. “In response to that, Eduard Nalbandian could have simply shown those attending the ceremony the newly signed protocols and declared that any emotional evaluation is worth nothing because the parties are responsible for only what is written in the document.”

“Kapital” says that Turkey’s continuing linkage between relations with Armenia and the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict “has left the international community facing a fiasco.” “Armenia will not sign any protocol with Turkey that would refer to the Nagorno-Karabakh issue as a precondition,” writes the paper. It believes that the signing ceremony in Zurich formalized “the separation of the two processes.” “And no matter how many times Turkey’s prime minister says that there will be no opening of the Turkish-Armenian border without the return of [Azerbaijani] territories his statements will have no value.”

“168 Zham” editorializes that the protocols’ quick ratification by the Armenian parliament may be “the most beneficial step for Armenia in the existing situation.” Even assuming that the protocols are bad for the Armenians, argues the paper, Yerevan should be interested in making sure that it is Turkey that kills the deal. “Of course, that will be extremely difficult. But it is probably the only way of emerging from the unfavorable situation with minimal losses,” it says. “Whether that is good or bad, it is obvious that Armenia has been too deeply involved in this process to step back from it now.”

Speaking to “Hayots Ashkhar,” political commentator Aleksandr Iskandarian says international mediators will not try to “artificially accelerate” the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process under pressure from Azerbaijan and Turkey. “Linking the Karabakh process to the normalization of the Turkish-Armenian relations would mean botching the process,” he says. Azerbaijan and Turkey, he says, will fail to win back Karabakh in return for Turkish-Armenian border opening. “They have tried to do that for 15 years and failed … Armenia is not ready to pay that price,” adds Iskandarian.

“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that contrary to its promises, the Football Federation of Armenia has still not reinstated its previous emblem that depicted Mount Ararat and was controversially changed ahead of the Armenia-Turkey soccer match in September 2008. The paper says the players of Armenia’s national soccer had the federation’s new and much-criticized logo emblazoned on their jerseys when they faced Spain in Yerevan on Saturday. It says the squad will likely wear the same uniform during Wednesday’s return match with Turkey.

(Aghasi Yenokian)
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