Speaking to “Haykakan Zhamanak” from Strasbourg, opposition leader Artashes Geghamian accuses President Robert Kocharian of “distorting facts” in his address to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on Wednesday. Geghamian says he and the other Armenian opposition member of the PACE, Shavarsh Kocharian, deliberately avoided asking the president any questions because they believe that would “weaken Kocharian’s answers” to other parliamentarians’ questions regarding Nagorno-Karabakh.
Geghamian also voices his frustration with the Council of Europe’s stance on domestic political developments in Armenia. “My impression is that in terms of regional developments in the South Caucasus, more important for European structures are, alas, not democratic developments or the level of freedoms and human rights in one or another country, but the establishment of a lasting peace in the South Caucasus,” he says. “Namely, the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” says speculation that a new private television station, Aravot TV, was set up recently to make the reopening of the independent A1+ channel less urgent in the eyes of the international community is proving correct. The paper points to Kocharian’s remark at the PACE that pluralism does exist in the Armenian electronic media.
“Hayots Ashkhar” says Western calls for an Armenian-Azerbaijani dialogue and reconciliation over Nagorno-Karabakh sound increasingly “pathetic” in the light of continuing “barbaric actions” carried out by Azerbaijanis. “Modern-day Europe views the entire world as a single set of developed and backward peoples belonging to the same civilization and having the same values,” the paper says. “They think in European structures that we need to develop a bit in order to turn [the Karabakh town of] Shusha into a Strasbourg of the South Caucasus, like the French and the Germans did.” The paper claims that “Azerbaijanis are incompatible with Armenians in the civilization sense.”
“Aravot” reports that a Yerevan court has upheld the city authorities’ refusal to provide copies of its decisions setting green areas aside for commercial development to the Armenian Association of Investigative Journalists. The paper says municipal officials’ strong denials of any environmental wrongdoing ring hollow in these circumstances. It says cafes and gasoline stations in Yerevan have been growing in numbers at the expense of public parks simply because they are owned by people “whose will is above any kind of law for the mayor’s office.”
“Azg” notes that it has been nearly one year since Yervand Zakharian was appointed as mayor of Yerevan. “Time has shown that despite his and other municipal officials’ numerous promises one of Yerevan’s problems has been solved,” the paper says, citing specific examples to back up this assertion. “The capital does not need such a mayor.”