“Azg” believes that the Turkish-Armenian agreements on normalizing bilateral relations contain both negative and positive elements for the Armenians. While noting Ankara’s stated readiness to reopen the Turkish-Armenian border, the paper is worried about “extremely dangerous concessions fraught with fateful consequences” which it says the Armenian side has agreed to make. It says they will deal a “severe blow” to international recognition of the Armenian genocide and claims that diplomatic relations with Armenia could make it easier for Turkey to interfere in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
“If there is no progress in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and the status quo persists, the normalization of Turkish-Armenian relations will become meaningless,” writes “Zhamanak.” The paper says that an open Turkish-Armenian border would lack a regional significance as long as Armenia and Azerbaijan remain at war.
Citing a Russian agency report, “Yerkir” says that Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev held an emergency meeting of his administration following the announcement of the Turkish-Armenian agreements. “It is reported that Ilham Aliyev instructed the country’s Foreign Ministry to step up contacts with Turkish partners and ensure that the Azerbaijani position [on the Turkish-Armenian rapprochement] is presented more comprehensively in the Turkish press,” says the paper. “Besides, the Azerbaijani Ministry of National Security was instructed to establish direct contacts with influential lobbyists of Azerbaijani interests in Turkey and look into ways of galvanizing ethnic Azerbaijanis in Turkey’s regions.” It says Aliyev also ordered tax authorities to raid all Azerbaijani businesses fully or partly owned by Turkish entrepreneurs.
Speaking to “Iravunk,” Eduard Sharmazanov, the chief spokesman for the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) attacks the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) for its harsh criticism of President Serzh Sarkisian’s Turkish policy. Sharmazanov argues that Armenia’s national security strategy calls for an unconditional normalization of relations with Turkey and Dashnaktsutyun never objected to the document’s adoption when it was in government. Sharmazanov is also critical of the Armenian National Congress’s position on the issue, saying that the leader of the opposition alliance, Levon Ter-Petrosian, never raised the genocide issue when he was president and therefore has no moral right to accuse Sarkisian of thwarting genocide recognition. “Levon Ter-Petrosian’s team should simply recognize its failures in the area of [political] prognosis,” says the HHK representative.