“168 Zham” quotes Matthew Bryza, a former senior U.S. State Department official, as criticizing U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s recent remark that Armenian and Azerbaijani leaders are “not ready” to achieve a compromise solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Bryza says that Kerry should have focused instead on “concrete proposals” on how to move forward the negotiation process mediated by the OSCE Minsk Group.
“This would have been more productive than to say that the presidents are not ready for an agreement,” Bryza tells the paper. “After all, he has spent quite a lot of time trying to resolve the Syrian conflict and he knows that [Syria’s] Bashar al-Assad and [Russia’s] Vladimir Putin are not ready for a diplomatic settlement.” Bryza says Kerry should have also made clear that he will do everything to help the parties to the Karabakh conflict reach common ground because Presidents Serzh Sarkisian and Ilham Aliyev are “much closer” to peace deal than the warring sides in Syria are.
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” reports that among the issues on the agenda of Thursday’s cabinet meeting in Yerevan is a proposal to give the Armenian Foreign Ministry one more mobile phone number along with a handset. The phone is to be used by one of the deputy foreign ministers. The paper says that a two-page document explaining the decision was drawn up “sloppily.” It also says: “The government of a country mired in an economic crisis could have dealt with more important issues. And by the way, they could appoint as deputy foreign minister someone who has a mobile phone and does not expect government funding for it.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” says that Prime Minister Karen Karapetian has to present the National Assembly with his government’s comprehensive policy program by the end of next week. “While re-reading the programs of the three previous governments, we can say that it will be very hard for Karen Karapetian’s government to draw up a better action plan,” writes the paper. “So what conclusion can we arrive at? Successive government programs are mere formalities and the new government does not need to spend time on writing a new one. The previous ones were very good. The problem is their implementation.”