“Aravot” says the first meeting of representatives of Armenia’s governing coalition and the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK) has provoked a mostly negative reaction from “politicized circles.” “Representatives of other parties and Congress hawks have evaluated it as a manifestation of unprincipled position, a meaningless show, haggling, a conspiracy and so on,” editorializes the paper. It dismisses this criticism and says the dialogue would have been impossible under former President Robert Kocharian.
“The HAK’s dream has finally come true,” “Yerkir” comments tartly. “The authorities have begun a dialogue with it. This means at least two things. First, the HAK has come to terms with accepting the ruling coalition, rather than the president of the republic, as an equal party … That means that the Congress has agreed to lower the level of negotiations for the sake of their holding. Second, the Congress agreed to hold discussions on all issues in order to achieve a mere start of negotiations.” The paper claims that the delegation led by Davit Harutiunian, chairman of the parliament committee on legal affairs, has no mandate to discuss pre-term elections with HAK representatives.
“We are not annoyed if they put the issue of pre-term presidential and parliamentary elections on top of the agenda,” Vartan Bostanjian, a member of Harutiunian’s delegation, tells “Hayots Ashkhar.” “That’s their right. Let them raise it. But we made clear that that is a matter of analysis, rather than yes or no.” Bostanjian said the two sides agreed to consider each other’s proposals and see if they can reach a common denominator.
Lragir.am asks Galust Sahakian, the parliamentary leader of the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), to explain why the authorities have agreed to negotiate with the HAK through a delegation despite earlier statements rejecting such a possibility. Sahakian says that Harutiunian’s negotiating team is only a “working group.” He claims that the group’s meetings with HAK representatives are not official negotiations. Sahakian also comments evasively on what will be the coalition’s agenda in those meetings.
“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” reports that the U.S., Russian and French co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group did not visit Stepanakert this time on the grounds that Nagorno-Karabakh President Bako Sahakian is on vacation now. “This was, no doubt, a very good excuse for the co-chairs, assuming that this was the case,” comments the paper.