“Zhamanak” reports that President Serzh Sarkisian met with a large group of Armenian artists, writers and other intellectuals on Tuesday. “The real purpose of that meeting remained unclear,” says the paper. It suggests that the authorities decided to touch base with their traditional backers and see which of them could be “of use” in the 2012 parliamentary elections.
“Hayots Ashkhar” says that fresh accusations traded by the Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers at the ongoing session of the UN General Assembly leave little hope for a breakthrough in the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process. “The reason for that is that until the end of this summer Azerbaijan had a clear tactic,” says the paper. “Namely, to escalate the situation in the conflict zone, move it to the brink of war and leave the mediators with a dilemma of twisting Armenia’s arms or facing an outbreak of war. In that endeavor, a certain role was reserved for Turkey … The situation changed as a result of the recent Russian-Armenian and Russian-Azerbaijani meetings and a largely balanced reaction their results shown by the United States.” Baku therefore had to switch its attention to the “propaganda front,” says the paper.
“Ecologists claims that the Ministry of Agriculture is rigging data on forests and that in reality only 7.5 percent, rather than 11.2 percent, of Armenia’s territory was covered by forests as of 2006,” writes “Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun.” “They also claim that if the destruction of forests continues with the same pace there will be no forests left in Armenia by 2020. This is certainly a terrible fact.”
“Aravot” is highly skeptical about the Armenian authorities’ plans to make fresh changes in a controversial law on broadcasting strongly criticized by domestic and international democracy watchdogs. The paper says the state human rights ombudsman, Armen Harutiunian, has been tasked with forming an inter-agency commission that will draft those amendments.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that Mikhail Bagdasarov, the owner of Armenia’s Armavia national airline, has dismissed, through a spokesperson, as “complete nonsense” rumors that he is being forced to sell the company to President Serzh Sarkisian’s son-in-law, Mikael Minasian.