(Saturday, February 14)
“Golos Armenii” suggests that periodical expressions of optimism by the Nagorno-Karabakh mediators are “a big diplomatic bluff” and that their renewed hopes for an Armenian-Azerbaijani peace accord are just as misplaced. The Russian-language paper also says that public opinions in Armenia and Azerbaijan can not influence the essence of a peace agreement that might be reached by the parties.
“Hayots Ashkhar” comments on Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian’s observation that Armenian officials attending international conference often have trouble rebutting anti-Armenian statements made by Azerbaijani officials. “This is certainly an extraordinary fact,” says the paper. “And you even don’t know how to define the attitude of the bureaucratic class towards the Karabakh problem. A national consciousness nihilism or a manifestation of absolute indifference towards the national cause? The two things simultaneously. We think that it is simply disgraceful when almost 15 years after the [Karabakh] truce various-level officials are uninformed about Armenia’s official position.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” finds very symbolic the fact that Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) leader Gagik Tsarukian spoke last week of “acquisition,” rather than “usurpation,” of state power in reference to coup accusations brought against arrested opposition leaders. “Mr. Tsarukian can be forgiven for this mix-up,” says the paper. “In his consciousness, the words acquisition and usurpation are synonyms. That is, any acquisition can be made through usurpation. Including acquisition of power.”
Pargev Ohanian, a former judge supporting the Armenian opposition, tells “Hraparak” that the authorities’ pledge to amend Criminal Code articles used against the jailed oppositionists “probably make sense.” But, he says, this and other Armenian laws must be applied by an “independent judicial system.” “Even the worst law can be put to good use,” says Ohanian.
“Aravot” details a document called the “declaration of the self-determination of Armenians in Western Armenia.” It was signed in Karabakh in December 2004 following the creation of an organization called the Armenian Congress of Western Armenia. “In essence the organization is a shadow cabinet which is supposed to reclaim Armenian lands in Western Armenia,” the paper explains with sarcasm. “Assuming, of course, that Turkey will one day be so moved by our football diplomacy that it will return our ancestral lands.”