“Aravot” says that an Armenian government delegation will attend on Thursday the inauguration of a Turkish president for the first time ever. “For countries having no diplomatic relations this is probably a positive step,” editorializes the paper. It says that just a few weeks ago Recep Tayyip Erdogan angered official Yerevan and many Armenians with a statement widely denounced as racist. “But the latest Turkish-Armenian skirmish did not prevent Serzh Sarkisian from congratulating Erdogan on being elected Turkey’s president,” it says. “Turkey’s new president may be different from his predecessor Abdullah Gul, who has more progressive and moderate views.”
“Nevertheless, Gul’s presidency has not led to substantial changes in Turkish-Armenian relations despite the [2008-2009] ‘football diplomacy,’” continues “Aravot.” “The more radical Erdogan and [newly designated Prime Minister Ahmet] Davutoglu will hardly stop supporting Azerbaijan on the Karabakh issue. But the 100th anniversary of the [Armenian] genocide could prompt them to take some steps. For example, they might send an influential delegation to Yerevan on April 24, 2015.”
“Zhamanak” speculates that the United States may initiate a fresh Turkish-Armenian rapprochement in order to “counter” Armenia’s integration into the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU). The paper says the ill-fated “football diplomacy” took the Armenian society off guard. “As a result, we got [Turkish-Armenian] protocols containing provisions that are not in Armenia’s interests,” it says. “In any case, that process ended in failure as a result of geopolitical developments which reduced the urgency of the Turkish-Armenian normalization … In all likelihood, in the new Armenian-Turkish process the U.S. will seek arrangements that will help to spare the Caucasus another increase in Turkish or Russian influence.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that a new organization uniting Armenian veterans of the war in Nagorno-Karabakh held its founding congress in the Armenian town of Armavir this week. One of its leaders, prominent field commander Manvel Yeghiazarian, tells the paper that the veterans decided to come together because of facing an uncertain future. “The future of children and the cause of homeland defense is also uncertain,” he says.