“Haykakan Zhamanak” likens Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian’s reaction to a U.S. diplomat’s warning that Armenia will be left off regional integration without a Karabakh settlement to an “adolescent outburst.” “Oskanian’s attitude shows that the authorities do not want a solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh issue,” the paper claims, pointing to his remark that Armenia can develop with open borders with Azerbaijan and Turkey. It says Yerevan would not agree to anything less than Karabakh formally becoming a part of Armenia.
Oskanian as well as two leaders of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) are also criticized by deputy parliament speaker Tigran Torosian for their vocal rejection of a report on Karabakh prepared by Terry Davis, the new secretary general of the Council of Europe. Torosian tells “Hayots Ashkhar” that the Armenian side should instead “coolly and calmly explain what exactly is unacceptable for us in that report and what can really serve as a basis for the next report.” “A simple rejection of the matter would lead foreigners to suspect that we have nothing to say on the Karabakh issue and are only trying to make unnecessary noise. People should have at least once read that document and only then tried to make some mental exercises,” he says mockingly.
“Ayb-Fe” quotes the former head of the Armenian delegation in Strasbourg, Hovannes Hovannisian, as predicting that the next report to be unveiled by the Council of Europe’s new Karabakh rapporteur, David Atkinson, will have “much less pro-Armenian” language. He says the authorities will regret their attacks on Davis. “What Davis is saying is also said by the co-chairs of the Minsk Group, the co-chair nations, other European countries and international organizations.” Hovannisian also denounces Oskanian’s claims that Armenians can live in the existing regional environment for a hundred years. “Have they asked the people of Armenia if they can live like this for a hundred years?”
“Of course we must reject attempts to talk to us from the position of force, but Vartan Oskanian himself spoke from a very weak position,” says a statement by the Armat faction of the former ruling HHSh party published in “Iravunk.” “His speech was very emotional and had no depth. He should have blamed Armenia’s blockade on those countries that have not used their influence during all these years and now wish to impose solutions on us.”
“Iravunk” expects in this regard a “sharp heightening” of international pressure on Armenia over Karabakh. That will have a serious impact on the internal political situation in the country. The paper says the Dashnaktsutyun party will try to capitalize on the international pressure and boost its presence in government. The two other coalition parties, the HHK and Orinats Yerkir, may well team up with the opposition to counter “the Dashnaktsutyun-Kocharian alliance,” according to “Iravunk.”