“Hraparak” writes on President Serzh Sarkisian-hosted consultations on Nagorno-Karabakh with leaders of Armenian political parties slated for Thursday.
“A majority of opposition parties did not agree to participate in today’s discussions, with the main reason being the presence of political prisoners in the country…. The very fact that opposition leader Levon Ter-Petrosian was not among the invitees because he is not formally a leader of a political party is ridiculous. So, the meeting can be said to have fallen flat.”
“Azg” views the matter from a different perspective: “Very specific discussions have been offered to those who have made claims over an imminent Armenian withdrawal from liberated lands and deployment of peacekeepers, over a referendum that would be held at an indefinite future date. Go on, now, express your views, demand the disclosure of the settlement principles…”
“Hayots Ashkhar” writes on the same subject: “One can consider as understandable and natural the fact that the authorities themselves have initiated the discussions. After all, it is known to all that the Karabakh movement and the subsequent resistance to Azerbaijan was the expression of the collection will of the nation rather than something that belonged to a separate political force or forces or individuals.”
Meanwhile, “Haykakan Zhamanak” quotes Armenia’s first president and current opposition leader as saying that “the reason for initiating such a discussion is that Serzh Sarkisian wants to have something to show to the world.” The paper reports that during his visits to the member parties of the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK), Levon Ter-Petrosian, in particular, voiced the opinion that “Sarkisian wants to create an impression that Armenia’s authorities have engaged in a dialogue with the opposition and that, therefore, everything is fine.”
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” writes on the planned visit by the Council of Europe’s commissioner for human rights to Armenia and comments: “It suits the Council of Europe when there are political prisoners in Armenia because it gives an additional leverage to put pressure on [President] Serzh Sarkisian and demand concessions from him in the foreign policy domain. It also suits Serzh Sarkisian that the outside world demands concessions in foreign policy from him but turns a blind eye to the terror against his political opponents inside the country. So, in this sense, Thomas Hammarberg’s visit is quite clear – he will leave and once again come up with strict assessments to the Armenian authorities, and Serzh Sarkisian will have to intensify the campaign for the ‘Madrid principles’ to get away with it.”
And “Aravot” publishes an interview with a member of the board of the governing Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) who was in Jerusalem during the recent fight between local Armenian and Greek clergymen.
The paper quotes Artak Grigorian as saying that he himself participated in the squabble and ‘enjoyed’ the scene: “To be frank, as a nationalist and conservative I enjoyed immensely seeing those fighting clergymen. We’ve got there monks who are genuine followers of [Armenian political thinker] Garegin Njdeh’s Tseghakron (ethno-religion) teachings and who have dedicated themselves to the nation and God and are ready to face anything. They are ready to die any moment in the name of national dignity, without fearing a truncheon, a bullet or even God’s curse.”