“Zhamanak” claims that the last-minute cancellation of Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad’s visit to Yerevan seems to testify to “a serious crisis of trust in Armenian-Iranian relations.” The paper says Tehran’s claims that the visit was put off because the Armenian side failed to prepare Armenian-Iranian documents is a “direct accusation addressed to Armenia.” It says Ahmadinejad’s visit would have given Armenia “serious political support” ahead of the upcoming Armenian-Azerbaijani summit in Kazan. “But in effect, Iran abandoned it, hinting that Armenia reneged on some agreements,” concludes the pro-opposition daily.
Aram Karapetian, the leader of the opposition Nor Zhamanakner (New Times) party, tells “Irates de facto” that the Armenian government and the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK) deceive themselves and the public when they claim to represent the country’s entire political spectrum. “There is still Robert Kocharian’s factor, there is no unity within the coalition, there are problems in the [ruling] Republican Party,” he says. “The same situation exists in the opposition camp.” Karapetian says the HAK can not claim to represent all nationalist Armenians.
HAK coordinator Levon Zurabian tells “168 Zham” that the government was forced to make concessions to Levon Ter-Petrosian’s political force. “In all likelihood, they are now in uncertainty and can’t decide yet to what extent they should deepen those concessions and whether or nor they should opt for a dialogue at all,” says Zurabian.
“Why is Serzh Sarkisian keeping silent after all?” asks “Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun.” “It is possible that there will be a tough conversation in Kazan and concessions will be imposed on the parties. Naturally, that would be very painful for us because we will be the first to face concession demands. We are talking about returning lands. In this situation, starting negotiations with the Congress would mean asking the Congress for help. And Serzh Sarkisian cannot afford such thing because he thinks that the Congress would demand big concessions in return.” The pro-HAK daily also claims that the international community is not interested in the success of the Armenian dialogue because that would strengthen Sarkisian’s hand in peace talks on Karabakh.
“Aravot” comments on “propaganda salvos” fired by the HAK at a new opposition splinter group called Free Democrats. The paper says Free Democrats might indeed be secretly backed by the Armenian authorities. “But before making such allegations it was probably worth allowing that group to take its first steps,” it says in an editorial. “Maybe they too demand the immediate resignation of the president and the equally immediate holding of pre-term presidential elections.”