“Haykakan Zhamanak” finds “noteworthy” the fact that President Serzh Sarkisian will not return to Yerevan immediately after his trip to Washington. The pro-opposition paper questions the official announcement that Sarkisian will go on a short vacation and speculates that he might hold more talks on Turkish-Armenian relations and even the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in the United States.
“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” tries to calculate “losses” which it says Armenia and Turkey have suffered as a result of the “failure” of the Turkish-Armenian rapprochement. The pro-opposition paper says Turkey has lost “absolutely nothing” and received “100 percent guarantees” that U.S. President Barack Obama will not use the word “genocide” in his April 24 statement. “They couldn’t ask for more,” it says. “Turkey’s task was to show the entire world that it is holding negotiations with Armenia, and Turkey has accomplished that task.” As for Armenia, it says the normalization process has resulted in stronger international pressure on Yerevan over the Karabakh conflict, given Turkey greater say in Armenian-Azerbaijani negotiations and exposed Armenia’s weaknesses and flaws to the outside world.
Political analyst Aleksandr Iskandarian tells “Hayots Ashkhar” that the U.S. would now settle for the establishment of diplomatic relations between Armenia and Turkey without the opening of their border. “But I don’t think the Armenian side will agree to that variant,” he says. “One thing is clear: the American side is mainly putting pressure on Turkey at the moment to make sure that the process does not completely fail before April 24.” Iskandarian cautions that Washington does not have enough leverage to get Ankara to make decisions against its will.
Citing a Red Cross official in Yerevan, “Zhamanak” says Azerbaijan is currently holding six Armenian prisoners of war and several Armenian civilians. There are also two Azerbaijanis, one of them a civilian, remaining in Armenian captivity.
“Aravot” reports on “an atmosphere of fear” at a Yerevan jewelry market where traders recently protested against higher taxes introduced by the government. “True, market traders are not going to stage new protests in the near future but they don’t trust the government and tax bodies,” says the paper. It says they are worried that tax official may raid the market and slap new fines on them at any time.