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Press Review



“Azg” says that the Council of Europe has again “toughened its tone” on Armenia lately after “keeping silent for a while.” “On the other hand, there seem to be no [further] developments in Turkish-Armenian relations, the normalization of which was not only welcomed but also closely followed and promoted by all means by the Council of Europe,” writes the paper. It speculates that the “pause” in the Turkish-Armenian dialogue is the reason why Council of Europe officials have criticized the Armenian parliamentary inquiry into the March 2008 unrest.

“Aravot” carries an interview with Aram Safarian of the governing Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK), who was a member of the parliamentary commission that conducted the inquiry. Safarian insists that the commission “worked honestly” and “did everything possible to form an atmosphere of civic solidarity and public accord in the country.” He therefore disagrees with the criticism voiced by the Armenia rapporteurs of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE). In his words, the commission sought to ensure that its report does not cause “internal upheavals and animosity.”

“Haykakan Zhamanak” revisits its recent revelations that the Armenian Defense Ministry formed armed groups of officers and a special task force headed by the chief of the army staff, General Yuri Khachaturov, in the days leading up to the March 2008 clashes in Yerevan. Andranik Kocharian, an opposition member of the now defunct Fact-Finding Group of Experts, tells the paper that he was shocked by the existence of a corresponding written order issued by former Defense Minister Mikael Harutiunian. Kocharian says Harutiunian said nothing about that when he was questioned by the bi-partisan group that investigated the unrest earlier this year. “I think that after the emergence of this order it is even more evident that the meeting [of top security officials] chaired by Robert Kocharian on February 23 [2008] and issues discussed during it need a serious analysis and revelation,” he says.

“Hayots Ashkhar” comments on corruption allegations made this week by the Armenian parliament’s Audit Chamber and President Serzh Sarkisian’s oversight service. The paper says hardly anyone was surprised by the “tremendous abuses” exposed by them. “However, who has been held accountable for gobbling or wasting state resources or not collecting then on time?” it asks rhetorically.

(Aghasi Yenokian)
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