“Azg” reports that the Council of Europe’s new Nagorno-Karabakh rapporteur, David Atkinson, essentially reaffirmed on Wednesday his predecessor Terry Davis’ report on the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict which was rejected by Yerevan. The paper rebukes the Armenian leadership for its failure to properly “work with” the British parliamentarian. “Of course, Atkinson’s report too will not have a legal force, but it will carry a great political and propaganda significance. It contains a number of unacceptable wordings such as ‘ethnic cleansing,’ ‘occupation of Azerbaijani lands,’ ‘separatists control Karabakh’ and so on.”
“In a collective sense, our diplomacy has suffered serious defeats,” opposition parliamentarian Shavarsh Kocharian tells “168 Zham.” “This is proved by the fact that Armenia’s government, Kocharian and Oskanian, have followed a different line [on Karabakh]until now.” He says the authorities are now making statements that “reject their previous activities and steps.”
Interviewed by “Hayots Ashkhar,” Analyst Aleksandr Iskandarian disagrees with those who believe that the inclusion of the Karabakh issue on the UN General Assembly agenda by Azerbaijan was a big setback for the Armenian side. “Those [Azerbaijani] territories are indeed occupied by Armenian units,” he says. “They were occupied as a result of military actions. This is the reality. Any such reality … always finds itself at the center of UN attention regardless of how the diplomacy of a particular country operates.” Iskandarian also believes that the parties to the Karabakh conflict have not negotiated in earnest during all these years, only imitating a peace process. Progress towards peace is impossible without external pressure on them, he says.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that the Karabakh issue was discussed on Wednesday by the leadership of the opposition Artarutyun alliance. It concluded that President Robert Kocharian’s foreign policy has “completely failed.” One of the Artarutyun leaders, Aram Martirosian, is quoted as saying that the opposition will not use the issue to escalate its confrontation with Kocharian. “New upheavals would be ruinous for Armenia,” he says. He also argues that “the revolutionary mood among the public has not yet matured.”
“The policy pursued by the authorities leaves them without a chance to stay on until 2008,” Artarutyun leader Stepan Demirchian tells “Aravot.” “Today’s calm is a seeming one. Public demand for regime change is there. It has even intensified.”
“The appointment of Condoleezza Rice as U.S. secretary of state is bad news for those who hoped that during [President] Bush’s second term in office U.S. foreign policy will somehow soften,” comments “Haykakan Zhamanak,” referring to the Armenian government. “U.S. foreign policy will be more principled. That is, tougher.”