“Zhamanak” quotes Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu as telling a Turkish newspaper that ratifying the protocols signed with Armenia would be meaningless without a resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. “What if fighting in Karabakh breaks out three months after [the ratification] and forces us to again close the border gate?” argued Davutoglu. “In effect, Davutoglu is suggesting a certain scenario to Azerbaijan in the event that Turkey has to ratify the Turkish-Armenian protocols under international pressure,” comments the paper. It says Davutoglu also tried to thereby “blackmail” the United States with the prospect of another Armenian-Azerbaijani war.
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” tries to understand whether the passage of an Armenian genocide resolution by the U.S. Congress would contribute to the unconditional normalization of Turkish-Armenian ties. “As long as genocide recognition is only a threat, that will certainly help,” comments the paper. “But as soon as the threat becomes a reality, it will hamper [Turkish-Armenian normalization.]”
“The Karabakh problem is very old and complicated,” “Hayk” quotes former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev as telling the Moscow daily “Kommersant.” “Azerbaijan and Armenia were accusing me at that time [in the late 1980s] of siding with one of the parties. But that was not the case.” “I don’t know what cane done now,” said Gorbachev.
“It has been repeatedly stated and confirmed that there are no political prisoners in our country,” deputy parliament speaker Samvel Nikoyan tells “Hayots Ashkhar.” He insists that the charges that were brought against opposition members arrested after the March 2008 unrest were substantiated. “It is very natural the leaders of the Armenian National Congress ignore this fact and do not admit that they prodded people to commit criminal acts,” says Nikoyan. “It is logical of them to deny that mass riots took place. Otherwise, they would not have been able to exploit those events for their own political purposes.”
“168 Zham” claims that Arnold Stepanian, a leader of the Armenian community in Tbilisi, is being “persecuted” by the Georgian authorities. The paper says they warned him last year not to cooperate with the Georgian opposition and coordinate his actions with them before closing down a shop belonging to his father. Stepanian tells the paper that most local Armenians plan to vote for opposition leader Irakli Alasania in the upcoming mayoral elections in Tbilisi. He claims this is why the authorities have launched a smear campaign against him in the Georgian media that has branded him a “Russian agent.” “This is a very popular accusation here these days,” he says.