“Golos Armenii” is bewildered by the “hullabaloo and panicky fear” which it says was sparked by former President Robert Kocharian’s latest statements. The Russian-language paper says some pro-government parliaments were quick to reaffirm their allegiance to President Serzh Sarkisian and pledge to blame everything on Kocharian. “Today they are afraid that the second president will return to active politics, even though it is obvious that the presidency is a position while politics an occupation and that the second president has not quit his political occupation,” it says.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” hits out at Sarkisian for complaining that Armenian media readily disseminate Armenia-related news reports from Azerbaijan. “Such criticism is also voiced by many pro-government newspapers, from time to time accusing non-governmental media of using more Azerbaijani and Turkish than Armenian sources,” says the pro-opposition daily. It says that Armenian officials should have only themselves to blame for this situation because they are often reluctant to comment on major developments in Turkish-Armenian relations and the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The paper says this week’s U.S.-Armenian-Turkish talks in Washington are a case in point.
Aram Safarian, the parliamentary leader of the pro-government Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK), tells “Hayots Ashkhar” that the Turkish-Armenian normalization process has proved to be “a marathon, a long distance which the two countries must pass.” “To that end, one must make efforts and, if need be, take concerted steps so that these relations are established after all,” says Safarian.
“168 Zham” quotes Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev as saying on Wednesday that the normalization process is Armenia’s and Turkey’s bilateral affair and that nobody should meddle in that process. Aliyev also said that international efforts to have the Turkish-Armenian border opened are primarily aimed at easing Armenia’s socioeconomic plight. The paper says the remarks contradict Aliyev’s vehement protests against the prospect of border opening and the establishment of diplomatic relations between Armenia and Turkey.
In an interview with “Aravot,” opposition politician Hovannes Hovannisian dismisses President Sarkisian’s remark that any new foreign policy initiative is fraught with unpredictable developments. “Turkish-Armenian relations are not a historical novelty,” counters Hovannisian. “We have gone a long way down that path. Haven’t we trodden that path for 95 years that have passed since the genocide?” He also insists that the Armenian authorities have not toughened their stance on Turkey of late.