“Aravot” says authorities in both Armenia and Azerbaijan make conflicting assessments of the U.S., French and Russian presidents’ statement on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict for the domestic publics and the outside world. “The Armenian authorities say with that document Karabakh can gain independence,” editorializes the paper. “The opposition says it’s yet another diplomatic defeat because they are putting pressure on us. Azerbaijan, for its part, claims that with this statement, Karabakh will be returned to it on a tray and that Armenia must be constructive enough to give them that gift.” What both sides are saying for the outside world is closer to the truth, it says.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” says Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian’s positive reaction to the statement is unjustified. “The only certain thing in that document is a demand for the return of ‘occupied territories’ to Azerbaijan,” editorializes the paper. “The rest is … empty talk. And in this empty talk, the only more or less clear provision -- the return of refugees -- makes the future of Nagorno-Karabakh even more uncertain.”
“In essence, we are seeing the start of a new phase of the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement process where the page of the Madrid principles is turned and new approaches, in the form of Petersburg principles, are put into circulation,” Davit Babayan, a spokesman for Karabakh President Bako Sahakian, is quoted as saying. “Of course, it is too early to say what that will lead to. One thing is clear. The most important component of the June 26 statement is that large-scale hostilities are deemed unacceptable to everyone. Especially after provocative actions taken by Azerbaijan recently, this is every important in the sense that a military solution to the conflict is ruled out and the status quo maintained.”
“Although everyone understands that there will be no normal elections in Armenia for another hundred years, the election campaign here follows all rules of the game: regional trips, opening of campaign offices, mass recruitments, charitable activities and their maximally extensive coverage,” writes “Hraparak.” “If we look at things in this context … then the campaign [for the next elections] has already started. It’s enough to spend one evening in front of a television set and flip channels with a remote control to become convinced that individuals and forces with serious ambitions are already in the race.”