“One may and one may not agree with Robert Kocharian’s views,” writes “Hayots Ashkhar.” “In case of being more or less familiar with the matter and having appropriate experience and knowledge, on may even criticize, debate or dispute one or another point made in [Kocharian’s] interview. But there can be no doubt that the second president of the republic could not and, what is more, had no right to step aside and avoid reacting to challenges threatening the economy and external threats emanating from them.” The pro-establishment paper dismisses fresh talk of Kocharian’s desire to return to power, saying that it is aimed at sowing discord between Kocharian and President Serzh Sarkisian. It says opposition circles similarly sought to “drive a wedge” between the two men during Kocharian’s presidency.
A parliament deputy from the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) tells “Iravunk” that it has not demanded Trade and Economic Development Minister Nerses Yeritsian despite the harsh criticism of his activities voiced by BHK leader Gagik Tsarukian. Robert Tovmasian says it is the Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), of which Yeritsian is a member, that should decide whether or not the minister should go. “We can only make evaluations and say whether or not we like his work,” says Tovmasian.
Tovmasian also thinks that Kocharian’s possible political comeback “at least would not hurt” Armenia. “I believe that Robert Kocharian is a good diplomat, an experienced man who in this crisis is an additional force capable of playing the role of a locomotive in the international arena where he is widely recognized,” he says. “He also has a lot of weight in Armenia.”
In an interview with “Zhamanak,” Andranik Kocharian, an opposition figure and former deputy defense minister, urges Nagorno-Karabakh’s government to publicly express its position on the return of the Azerbaijani districts surrounding the disputed territory. “Armenia, Armenia’s political system can not understand the value of those territories as well as the people and authorities of Karabakh do,” he says.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that President Sarkisian has cancelled a speech which he was due to deliver at the upcoming congress in Yerevan of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH). Souhayr Belhassen, the FIDH president, tells the paper that the Armenian presidential administration has given no reasons for the decision. She also says the Armenian authorities were not behind the FIDH’s decision to hold the congress in Yerevan and are not among the financial sponsors of the event. “But obviously, without their consent and logistical assistance, especially on the visa issue, it would have been very difficult to hold this conference,” adds Belhassen.