“Aravot” says that there is nothing unusual about the Armenian authorities’ refusal to register Nikol Pashinian, the jailed opposition leader and newspaper editor, as an election candidate. The paper argues that individuals kept in detention in Armenia have rarely been able to contest elections under both the current nor former governments. But it is struck by the official explanation for the decision to bar Pashinian from running for parliament, saying that it is “beyond any reasonable boundary.” “When people act against justice and law that is certainly terrible. But when their target is reason that is already a tragedy,” writes the paper.
“Zhamanak” mocks Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian for his regular statements acknowledging the existence of serious political and economic problems in the country. “Unless an outside listener knows that Sarkisian is Armenia’s prime minister, he may think that he hears a speech by an opposition leader,” says the pro-opposition daily. “When it comes to business and especially the result of business, any original thing has its logical demise and the ordinary Armenian reality sets in.”
Citing a Turkish newspaper, “Azg” reports that Turkey’s Transport Minister Binali Yildirim has said during a visit to the southeastern town of Mus that his country is now “making friends” with not only Russia and Iran but Armenia. “However, the Armenian Diaspora has claims to our territories,” he said. “Turkey is not going to harm anyone. But we can assure that we will take out the eyes of anyone who has set their sights on Turkish territory.”
“168 Zham” quotes Vafa Guluzade, a former top Azerbaijani negotiator in the Nagorno-Karabakh peace talks, as saying that the presidents of the United States, Russia and France may not know what their diplomats co-chairing the OSCE Minsk Group are up to. “This troika is not doing bad,” Guluzade said scathingly. “They get quite high salaries, visit Baku and Yerevan, enjoy the Azerbaijani and Armenian cuisines.” Guluzade also believes that the mediating powers are currently focusing their attention to the normalization of Turkish-Armenian relations, rather than a Karabakh settlement. He said the resulting talk of Turkey possibly becoming a fourth Minsk Group co-chair is aimed at minimizing Azerbaijani criticism of the Turkish-Armenian rapprochement. “That is ridiculous because if countries like the USA and Russia do not resolve the Karabakh conflict for some reason, then Turkey has no chance of doing that,” he said.