“Haykakan Zhamanak” is disheartened by the failure of the Turkish Armenian Reconciliation Commission. In an editorial titled “Conspiracy” the paper claims that TARC’s near collapse was orchestrated by its Armenian and Turkish members. “They found a ‘patriotic’ pretext for dissolving the commission…The commission’s Armenian and Turkish members can now boast that they were guided solely by patriotic motives. Yet the latest events show these people proved unable to display courage. The commission was made up of average Armenians and average Turks who never managed to transcend parochial and short-sighted perceptions of reality.”
“Hayots Ashkhar,” a bitter critic of TARC, has no regrets at the pullout out of the commission’s Armenian members who it says are “making grandiose statements” and “portraying their deeds as a feat” to justify their participation in the initiative. The paper says that in fact they realized that TARC’s activities are leading to nowhere except inflicting a “huge damage” on Armenian national interests.
“Yerkir,” covering Georgian parliament speaker Nino Burjanadze’s visit to Armenia, welcomes what it says is a change in Tbilisi’s foreign policy. “The rapprochement between Washington and Moscow decreases the role of so-called anti-Russian states. Given the constant Russian pressure and the new US-Russian relationship, Azerbaijan and Georgia have to seriously ponder their further steps.” Georgia has already taken some steps, changing among other things its policy on Armenia. This fact is enough to disprove opposition claims that Armenia is isolated in the region, according to the paper.
But “Azg” is far less optimistic on that score. “Georgia wants to catch Russia’s throat with Armenia’s hands,” it writes. The paper says Burjanadze linked Georgia’s consent to the reopening of the Abkhaz railway to Russia changing its position on the settlement of conflict in Abkhazia. But Tbilisi is still not prepared to make any concessions to the Armenians or the Russians in return for that.
“Aravot” reports on new differences in the leadership of the Yerkrapah Union. The two army generals that control the organization want to form a new board comprising only senior military officers. The civilian members of the current board, many of them in opposition to Robert Kocharian, are strongly opposed to such a change, saying that it would make Yerkrapah even more submissive to the authorities. One of them, parliament deputy Ara Ketikian, says: “That idea was first of all rejected by Vazgen Sarkisian and is equally unacceptable now.” Ketikian warns that Yerkrapah chairman Manvel Grigorian will risk splitting the organization if he pushes ahead with his proposal.