(Saturday, July 28)
“Hraparak” reports on the launch of a Facebook group seeking to recruit families in Armenia ready to accommodate, on a temporary basis, ethnic Armenians fleeing Syria. The paper says this initiative is the result of the Armenian government’s “indifference” to the plight of the Syrian Armenians. It claims that the government does not want them to settle in Armenia in large numbers.
“The war [in Syria] going on for almost one and a half years should have long made our authorities realize that the Syrian Armenians will eventually be faced with such a problem,” Lyudmila Sargsian, a senior member of the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK), tells “Aravot.” “They should have developed a comprehensive program on what kind of assistance we can provide as a homeland” “The steps taken now by Armenia’s authorities are too insignificant and do not reflect the Armenian people’s emotional approach to Syria, the Syrian Armenians and the people of Syria,” she adds.
Another senior HAK figure, Petros Makeyan, tells “Zhamanak” that President Serzh Sarkisian and his predecessor Robert Kocharian are still working in tandem. “Today that tandem is interested in seeing [Gagik] Tsarukian presented as an opposition leader and thus splitting the real opposition’s votes and ability to take actions,” says Makeyan. “Perhaps [HAK leader] Levon Ter-Petrosian thinks that there is a serious confrontation between [Sarkisian’s] HHK and [Tsarukian’s] BHK. I personally don’t believe in this.” He points to the HHK’s support for the election of BHK member Samvel Balasanian as mayor of Gyumri. “And how come the new minister of sports and youth affairs is from the BHK?” he says. “And why is it that Gagik Tsarukian is the [still] chairman of the National Olympic Committee?”