“Aravot” takes a critical look at this week’s parliamentary hearings in Yerevan on Turkish-Armenian relations, likening them to a street protest. “One of the most interesting discussions at the anti-Turkish rally in the National Assembly was on the amount of compensation to be demanded from Turkey. Turkey has already recognized the genocide, returned our historical lands and it only remains to be clarified how many billions of dollars it should pay us,” the paper comments sarcastically. “Naturally, the number of those billions also depends on the extent of our patriotism. The more billions you demand, the more you love your nation. The white-haired participants of that rally went so far in that contest that they became more Dashnak than the Dashnaks.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” is not sure that the hearings deepened “our idea of the past, present and future of Turkish-Armenian relations” and will help Armenia pursue a more effective policy on Turkey. The paper says statements made their participants lacked “concrete proposals and clarifications” which were supposed to emerge as a result of the two-day discussions. “As is usually the case in our country in such cases, we spoke, listened and stuck to our views,” it says.
Commenting on the presidential race, “Iravunk” says never before has Armenia seen so much mutual intolerance and such a bitter “war of compromising material” among political leaders vying for power. “Practically speaking, all political forces, both those in government and some of those in opposition, which aspire to the highest state post, appear to be intent on using their entire arsenal of permissible and impermissible measures,” says the paper.
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” says that the “real fight” in the presidential elections will be between Serzh Sarkisian and Levon Ter-Petrosian. The paper claims that most of the other opposition candidates were paid or enticed otherwise by the authorities for one purpose: to attack Ter-Petrosian and mislead the international community. It says TV coverage of their campaigns will leave the false impression that the Armenian opposition has had access to the airwaves. According to “Chorrord Ishkhanutyun,” the “false oppositionists” are also needed by the authorities for telling the West that they have won the vote because the opposition is divided.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” claims that Western embassies in Yerevan are refusing to issue visas to senior Armenian government officials and their relatives. The paper says among them are officials who are believed to be “seriously embroiled in corruption deals.” It says they find it particularly hard to obtain permits to travel to the United States and Europe after the first half of January.