Eduard Sharmazanov, the spokesman for the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), assures “Hayots Ashkhar” that never before has the Armenian side been in a more favorable position in peace talks with Azerbaijan than it is now. He says solutions to the Karabakh conflict favored by the international community “correspond to the logic of the policy implemented by the Armenian side.” “At the same time, it is hard to presume that there will be breakthroughs and the conflict will find a final solution this year because there are still a lot of disagreements between the parties,” adds Sharmazanov.
David Shahnazarian, an opposition politician, claims in an interview with “Zhamanak” that after the “complete fiasco” of the Turkish-Armenian rapprochement the Armenian authorities have turned to Iran to try to “backtrack on promises and agreements on the Nagorno-Karabakh issue” and thus avoid an unpopular peace deal with Azerbaijan. Shahnazarian says the authorities will fail in that endeavor because Iran has different priorities related to Karabakh. “It must be concluded that these are desperate steps by the Armenian authorities, and I don’t exclude that all this has been done with the Kremlin’s knowledge, if not urging,” he says.
Speaking to “168 Zham,” former Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian says Iran has until now played a positive role in the Karabakh peace process with its “balanced” position. Oskanian also expresses serious concern at Turkey’s “active involvement” in that process and says the Turkish-Armenian rapprochement has only complicated Karabakh peace. “We must now focus our potential on de-linking those processes and solving the issue of protecting our interests in the negotiations, which has become more difficult,” he says.
Interviewed by “Hayk,” opposition leader Aram Sarkisian accuses the HHK of trying to “scare” the public with the prospect of former President Robert Kocharian’s return to government. “As if it wasn’t the Republicans who supported Robert Kocharian in 2003,” he says. “Besides, the Republicans are trying to redirect any criticism [of the current Armenian government] Kocharian as if they were not part of the government and did not have a majority in parliament during his time. I’m not worried about Kocharian’s comeback at all. Having said that, I believe Kocharian stands no chance of making a comeback at this point. This is the existing public mood.”