(Saturday, July 10)
Commenting on U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s visit to the three South Caucasus states, Aleksandr Arzumanian, an opposition leader and former foreign minister, tells “168 Zham” that the United States continues to regard Georgia as its “most important partner in the region.” Arzumanian chides Clinton for not saying “even a word about political prisoners” while in Yerevan. “This was a clear message [to the Armenian government] that we are forgetting about your legitimacy for the time being and you must now meet your obligations.” The oppositionist accuses the Armenian authorities of “doing everything,” including on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, to cling to power.
“Azg” reports that the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe is to discuss a draft resolution that refers to Nagorno-Karabakh as an “uncontrolled territory.” The paper says the “anti-Armenian” wording was added to the resolution at the request of an Azerbaijani parliamentarian.
“Continuing Armenia’s blockade does not stem from Turkey’s strategic interests,” political analyst Stepan Grigorian tells “Hayots Ashkhar.” Grigorian predicts at the same time that Ankara will not open the Turkish-Armenian border this year.
“I don’t discuss political issues with Robert Kocharian,” Nagorno-Karabakh’s former military leader, Samvel Babayan, assures “Hraparak.” “And I openly stated at my last news briefing that I don’t see a political field in Armenia. Secondly, I see no point in setting up any party or playing party games with anyone.” Babayan says he will “become active” only if his views on a Karabakh settlement are approved by “a certain segment of the population in Armenia or Karabakh.” “But if the society is indifferent … I can’t be a white crow,” he says. “The society does not want to fight against any injustice, against anything, or for any of its interests.”
In an interview with “Kapital,” Ara Nranian, a parliament deputy from the opposition Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun), criticizes the ongoing reform of Armenia’s pension system initiated by the government. “A model of a backward country is being built in Armenia,” he claims. “Armenia is presenting itself to the world as a resource, as a country exporting raw materials and workforce. As a result of the pension reforms, impoverished Armenia will become a third raw material for developed markets: a country exporting money … The proposed [pension] system has not been introduced in any developed country, while the experience of a few developing countries does not inspire any optimism.”