(Saturday, July 17)
“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” says President Serzh Sarkisian hoped that Turkey will reopen its border with Armenia and enable him to prolong the Nagorno-Karabakh status quo in return for Yerevan’s “repudiation of the Armenian genocide.” “The offer was tempting and the Turkish side apparently accepted it at first,” the paper claims. “But later on, after it got what it needed and the Azerbaijani hysteria reached the climax, it backtracked and put forward additional conditions … The Turkish side is indeed to blame for the collapse of the process. But does that justify Serzh Sarkisian’s policy in any way?”
Vartan Bostanjian, a parliament deputy from the pro-government Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK), assures “Hayots Ashkhar” that Armenian leaders are right to think that Georgia will not sell a pipeline carrying Russian natural gas to Armenia to a buyer hostile to Yerevan. “Political factors are always important in economic developments,” he says.
“Hraparak” reports that former Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian complained on Friday that few Armenian television stations cover activities of his Civilitas Foundation think-tank and called for Western donor support for the development of independent broadcast media in Armenia. “It is good, of course, that Mr. Oskanian has become an advocate of independent TV companies,” comments the paper. “But perhaps it would have been more appropriate if he had fought for that with the same zeal during his tenure, when A1+ was shut down. In essence, the former foreign minister … is now enjoying one of the fruits of his time in government. He is living in an Armenian which he himself helped to build.”
Razmik Zohrabian, a deputy chairman of the ruling Republican Party (HHK), tells “168 Zham” that Armenia’s leading opposition forces -- Levon Ter-Petrosian’s HAK and the Dashnaktsutyun and Zharangutyun parties – should get, between them, up to 40 percent of the vote in the parliamentary elections due in 2012. Zohrabian says the HHK and his government allies will retain their “controlling stake” in the National Assembly.
“Aravot” reports that Russian-Armenian businessman Ruben Vartanian and the owner of an international school in Thailand are reconsidering their plans to open schools in Armenia. The paper quotes Artak Davtian, chairman of the Armenian parliament committee on science and education, as acknowledging that they may be having second thoughts because of the public uproar sparked by the Armenian authorities’ desire to legalize foreign-language schools. Davtian implies that he is impressed with civil society’s active involvement in parliamentary debates on relevant legal amendments.