(Saturday, September 25)
“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” pounces on President Serzh Sarkisian’s remark that Nagorno-Karabakh was left out of Armenian-Azerbaijani peace talks because “at some point Azerbaijan categorically objected to Karabakh’s participation in negotiations.” The pro-opposition paper says this “sensational revelation” means that former President Robert Kocharian agreed to exclude the Karabakh Armenians from the negotiating process under Azerbaijani pressure, and not because he felt he could represent their interests.
“Zhamanak” reports that a senior Russian Foreign Ministry official, Andrei Kelin, said on Friday that Azerbaijan withdrew its controversial draft resolution on Karabakh from the UN General Assembly because of the upcoming international fact-finding visit to Armenian-occupied territories surrounding the enclave. Kelin said the passage of the resolution by the assembly could have “escalated and spoiled the atmosphere” in the Minsk Group process.
Artak Davtian, a senior parliament deputy from the ruling Republican Party (HHK), tells “Hayots Ashkhar” that Armenia will sooner or later have “constructive opposition.” Armenians unhappy with their government will eventually stop looking for alternatives “in the extremist field,” he says. According to Davtian, the vast majority of people who voted for Levon Ter-Petrosian in the 2008 presidential election did so not because they trusted the former president but simply because they “protested against the authorities.”
Speaking to “Kapital,” Stepan Safarian, the parliamentary leader of the opposition Zharangutyun party, disputes the view that Ter-Petrosian’s Armenian National Congress (HAK) is Armenia’s only real opposition force. “How the society perceives each of the political forces is more important to us,” says Safarian. “In this sense, we have no issues with the society and continue to be admired and supported.” He also says that no party except Zharangutyun has come up with a clear “program on the Karabakh issue.” “We have the courage to say that Armenia must start the process of Artsakh’s [international] recognition from itself because that is the only solution,” adds Safarian.