Commenting on the June 18-19 armed incident in Nagorno-Karabakh, “Hayots Ashkhar” says Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has, in effect, “shot” the negotiating process and “spat at the mediators’ peace mission.” The paper says an Azerbaijani army unit attacked an Karabakh Armenian outpost just hours after Aliyev’s talks with President Serzh Sarkisian and the U.S., French and Russian co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group. It says this was not an ordinary ceasefire violation but “a clear-cut crime carried out at the explicit orders of the Azerbaijani leadership.”
“We are dealing with an unprecedented Azerbaijani tactic,” writes “Zhamanak.” “Therefore, the best possible [Armenian] riposte should also be unprecedented. In that sense, an unprecedented step for Armenia would be to shift the focus of the state policy to the country’s internal life, to raise the internal level of the country’s security through strengthening the rule of law, justice and competition.” The pro-opposition paper says this means that the Armenian authorities should at least be more tolerant of their political opponents.
“The Azerbaijani attack has achieved only one tangible result,” writes “Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun.” “Whereas in the past there was a view that the conflict can only be resolved peacefully, there is only one issue discussed in Armenian political circles: should we seize Baku or content ourselves with Gyanja and Mingechaur? And the majority seems to favor the first option. So as we predicted, these developments are directly leading us to war. One can only hope that this time we will manage to not only win but also utilize that victory.”
“Aravot” says that most Armenians, the United States government and some international human rights organizations have a far more negative take on the situation with democracy and human rights in Armenia than the Yerevan offices of the European Union and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe have. The paper says with bewilderment that the latter are continuously registering “some improvements and progress in the mentioned area.” It suggests scathingly that such improvements are only felt by OSCE and EU officials working in Armenia.
“Hraparak” carries a commentary on the surprise resignation of Labor and Social Affairs Minister Mkhitar Mnatsakanian. “Ministers’ term in office depends on the most insignificant circumstances but not on the quality of their performance,” says the paper. “For instance, why did the labor and social affairs minister, with whom the people were not particularly unhappy, resign, whereas the minister of science education, who is facing widespread public discontent, and the culture minister, in whose work [the parliament’s] Audit Chamber has found numerous shortcomings, retain their post?”