(Saturday, January 23)
“Haykakan Zhamanak” comments on former President Robert Kocharian’s visit to Iran. The paper says an Iranian news agency quoted Kocharian as telling Iran’s Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki that the presence of foreign troops in the South Caucasus would undermine regional stability. It finds unconvincing a Kocharian spokesman’s denial of statements attributed to him by Iranian media.
“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” considers Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian’s public reaction to Kocharian’s trip “noteworthy.” “What he said was approximately as follows: ‘Don’t worry, there was nothing serious,’” writes the paper. “That means the authorities too realize that Kocharian is something like a scourge that must not be allowed to deepen.” It speculates at the same time that “some people” sent Kocharian to Tehran in response to mounting Western pressure on Armenia. “Kocharian is a very convenient candidate for this role because he does not represent anyone and has no official status. The West will understand the hint but will have no possibilities of bringing the Armenian authorities to task.”
“Golos Armenii” expects no “drastic results” from Monday’s meeting of the presidents of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia. The paper points to Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s latest statements which it says no “hints of mutual concessions.” “Ilham Aliyev knows better than anyone else that such statements are a priori unacceptable to the Armenian side,” it says. “So the Sochi talks can only end in formal declarations of some progress, solely out of respect for the Russian president’s mediation efforts.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” quotes Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as saying on Friday that the principles of peoples’ self-determination and territorial integrity of states are equally applicable to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The paper considers this a further indication that Russia does not support Karabakh’s return under Azerbaijani rule.
“Many in Armenia think that the challenge is to explain to the world that Karabakh or the liberated territories have been populated by Armenians,” writes “Zhamanak.” “Many people around the world may agree with this. But at the end of the day, that can not become an argument for a Nagorno-Karabakh settlement. After all, the problem is that the Nagorno-Karabakh issue is not a historical but political and geopolitical one and it has to be settled with the rules of the existing world order. And so our challenge in this situation is to have a position congruent with the existing rules.”