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Press Review



(Saturday, November 21)

“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” speculates that unlike in the run-up to previous Armenian-Azerbaijani summits, it is Armenia, not Azerbaijan, that is more interested in the Munich talks resulting in some joint statement by the two presidents. The paper says Yerevan thinks that such a statement would increase chances of the Turkish parliament ratifying the Turkish-Armenian agreements. Conversely, it says, Azerbaijan will seek to show that no progress was made in Munich in an effort to thwart the opening of the Turkish-Armenian border.

“Zhamanak” comments scathingly on the uncertainty over whether the authorities in Nagorno-Karabakh were formally presented with the international mediators’ existing peace proposals. The paper dismisses explanations given in that regard by Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian. It is confident that Yerevan did relay the “basic principles” of the Karabakh conflict’s resolution to Stepanakert.

“In his last speech, [Levon] Ter-Petrosian openly called on Serzh Sarkisian to cooperate with him,” writes “Hayots Ashkhar.” “No reaction from the president followed. Then others started talking about the need for cooperation -- and in the form of ultimatums. No reaction from the president followed.” Ter-Petrosian’s Armenian National Congress (HAK), claims the pro-presidential daily, responded to that silence with “overt blackmail.” It points to rumors that parliament speaker Hovik Abrahamian, oligarch Gagik Tsarukian and even former President Robert Kocharian would like to topple Sarkisian.

A senior member of Tsarukian’s Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK), Naira Zohrabian, tells “Aravot” that there is nothing strange about the BHK criticizing some of the government policies and threatening to boycott Yerevan’s municipal council. Sarkisian’s Republican Party (HHK) and the BHK were never supposed to act like “Siamese twins,” she says. “Prosperous Armenia is principled in all of its decisions and expresses its views and positions in both the Yerevan council and the National Assembly, and regardless of whether or not they coincide with anybody’s positions and or are liked by anybody we will remain principled on all issues,” says Zohrabian. She also insists that Tsarukian continues to be “by President Serzh Sarkisian’s side.”

“Haykakan Zhamanak” shrugs off Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian’s latest pledge to break up economic monopolies, combat tax evasion and improve the country’s business environment. The paper insists that “super-profits” made by Armenian oligarchs are continuing to grow and that the government is “doing everything to foster that process.” “Everything is being done to let the oligarchs buy up cheap dollars in Armenia and use them for buying property in Europe,” it claims.

(Aghasi Yenokian)
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