“Yerevan hopes that Washington will manage to persuade Baku to return to the negotiating table, while they expect in Baku that [Matthew] Bryza will bring them new proposals,” “Yerkir” writes ahead of the U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state’s visit to the region. “But the U.S. mediator can not bring radically new proposals because it takes a lot of time and consultations with Russia and France, the two other co-chairs of the Minsk Group, to develop them.”
Several newspapers run a statement by Armenia’s former ruling party, the HHSh, which says that Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh must accept the Minsk Group’s existing peace plan. “The whole meaning of the statement is that the only true position on the Karabakh issue was the HHSh’s,” comments “Azg.”
“Aravot” quotes Arkady Karapetian, a prominent Karabakh Armenian veteran of the war with Azerbaijan, as condemning the former commander of the Karabakh army, General Samvel Babayan, for supporting the return of some of the Armenian-controlled territories in Azerbaijan. “Samvel Babayan used to be my deputy,” he says. “I am the one who appointed him my deputy. I don’t care about what he says.”
“Zhamanak Yerevan” sees striking similarities between the weekend congress of the governing Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) and Soviet-era Communist gatherings. The paper says this week’s conference of Gagik Tsarukian’s Prosperous Armenia party was hardly different, the pointing to “the abundance of palace intellectuals” among its participants and their “flattery addressed to the boss.”
“What is happening today in Armenia’s political arena is seen by many as a confrontation between Robert Kocharian and Serzh Sarkisian,” “Chorrord Ishkhanutyun notes incredulously. “Serzh Sarkisian is allegedly joining forces with the HHK, consolidating all of his resources and trying to take real power, while Robert Kocharian is trying to resist by means of Prosperous Armenia.” The paper believes that the latest political developments “can be considered anything but a Kocharian-Serzh standoff,” insisting that the president, the defense minister as well as Samvel Babayan are part of the same political “triangle.” “The real goal of Serzh Sarkisian is not to bolster and strengthen the HHK but to spoil it,” it claims.
“Hayots Ashkhar” derides the flurry of conflicting speculations surrounding Sarkisian’s decision to join the HHK and his remarks made during the party congress. The pro-Sarkisian paper says they are devoid of any “logic and reason.” “Unfortunately, we live in a country where there is a lot more freedom of speech than common sense,” it laments.
Mher Shahgeldian, a leader of the Orinats Yerkir party, tells “Iravunk” that he does not think that the HHK can be simultaneously led by Sarkisian and Prime Minister Andranik Markarian. No party can have two equal leaders, he says.