“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” reports that a “high-level meeting of leaders of three traditional Armenian parties, namely the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (HHD), Ramkavar-Azatakan and the Social-Democratic Hunchak Party, took place in rather secret conditions in Yerevan the previous day.”
“A scanty report was disseminated about this meeting and according to this report the sides discussed, in an atmosphere of mutual understanding, the relations between Armenia and Turkey and other issues of concern to the nation. Armenia thus gets a progressive government and a weighty opposition. The rest of the world gets to admire this classical model and, in short, everyone is satisfied and happy. The problem is that it suits [President] Serzh Sarkisian to have these three traditional parties as an opposition pole. First, it enables him to “regulate” the Diaspora opinion and secondly this opposition is very convenient for Sarkisian because the traditional parties are certain not to make a demand for his resignation and even if they do, they won’t stir a nationwide wave of protest. And thirdly, traditional parties, as a rule, are interested only in national issues.”
HHD MP Hrair Karapetian tells “Iravunk” that “time has shown that the Turkish side is approaching the matter [of normalization of relations with Armenia] from the position of preconditions.”
“While in the protocols these preconditions are hidden between the lines, they have been voiced repeatedly by both the Turkish foreign minister and prime minister after the signing of the protocols. The Turkish side directly makes normalization with Armenia contingent on a pro-Azerbaijani solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and will make no exceptions in this matter. That is, they consider that the genocide issue has been in one way or another ‘rendered harmless’, and that the recognition of the existing border [by Armenia] has blocked the way for Armenians to claim their historical homeland, and today they have got down to meddling in the settlement of the Karabakh problem.”
Ruling Republican Party spokesman Eduard Sharmazanov, meanwhile, tells “Hayots Ashkhar” that it was due to Armenia’s “pro-active policy that the Turkish-Armenian protocols containing no preconditions were signed.”
“It is clear that this has angered the Turks and Azerbaijanis who every day make several attempts to convince themselves that there might be some preconditions. No matter how much the Turkish side talks about preconditions, the fact is that the protocols contain no preconditions.”
A “Zhamanak” analyst ridicules statements about the possibility of thwarting the Armenian-Turkish rapprochement process by means of a power change.
“The fact is that society has remained indifferent to the concerns voiced regarding the process by political forces. It would be wrong to think that the public remained indifferent because it considered the main government critic, HHD, a fake opposition. They considered HHD a fake opposition, but the public at large proved just as much indifferent to the concerns raised by the main opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK). And perhaps it was by that lack of interest necessary for minimum activity that conditioned the HAK’s temporary pause [in public rallies].”