In an interview with “Aravot,” Emin Yeritsian, head of the Armenian delegation at the Council of Europe’s Congress of Local and Regional Authorities (CLRAE), expresses his utter disappointment with the work of Yerevan’s new municipal council. “My assessment of the activities of the council so far is definitely negative,” he says. “The expectations that we had from the reforms have not been lived up to yet. Not because the council should either rubber-stamp [municipality] decisions or defy the mayor.” Yeritsian believes that it should have been a “generator” of concrete ideas and measures relating to municipal affairs.
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” suggests two scenarios for further developments in the Nagorno-Karabakh negotiating process and Turkish-Armenian relations. “The first one is that there will no progress on Nagorno-Karabakh, the ratification of the [Turkish-Armenian] protocols is indefinitely postponed and nothing changes for Armenia as a result,” writes the paper. “In that case, the Armenian National Congress will have no choice but to resume its past activities, consolidate the people and simply carry out a democratic revolution in line with all rules of the genre.”
“The second scenario is that some agreement on Karabakh is signed, Serzh Sarkisian commits, in writing, to pull troops out of liberated territories within a reasonable time frame, and a huge wave of protests starts in Armenia and Karabakh,” writes “Chorrord Ishkhanutyun.” “But it is clear that in this case, what Armenia could get is not regime change but a mere coup d’etat in which the main player would be known [hardline] forces within the regime, rather than the people. The Congress would then be left to try to bring the country out of the coup-inflicted ruins. In sum, it means that regardless of the course of events, it will be extremely difficult for the Armenian National Congress to return to a phase of active struggle and reverse losses suffered during its ‘powerful’ hiatus. The longer the hiatus continues, the more the problem will deepen.”
Speaking to “Zhamanak,” Stepan Safarian, a parliament deputy from the opposition Zharangutyun party, speculates that the West “forgave” the dissolution of an bipartisan body investigating last year’s post-election unrest in Yerevan because the Armenian authorities made a deal with Turkey. He claims that the announcement in April of a “roadmap” to normalizing Turkish-Armenian relations was a “carte blanche” for the Yerevan government to halt the inquiry. Safarian argues that the United States and the European Union refrained from criticizing President Serzh Sarkisian’s June decision to disband the Fact-Finding Group of Experts.
“Hayots Ashkhar” reports that Armenian officials will not attend the upcoming inauguration of a newly renovated Armenian church in the Turkish city of Kayseri. Armenian Foreign Ministry spokesman Tigran Balayan saying that only representatives of Turkey’s Armenian community will be in attendance.