“Zhamanak” reports on President Serzh Sarkisian’s speech at the latest Armenia-Diaspora conference and, in particular, his calls for Diaspora Armenians to relocate to their ancestral homeland en masse. The paper says that the economic situation in Armenia is anything but favorable for such immigration.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” points to the organizers’ failure to invite representatives of the Yelk alliance and other major opposition groups to the conference. “As Diaspora Minister Hranush Hakobian stressed in her speech, some 1,800 guests from 71 countries were taking part in the event,” writes the paper. “But there was no room for the parliamentary opposition.” It cites Sarkisian’s claims that his administration “welcomes and appreciates pluralism.” It suggests that Sarkisian referred not to pluralism within Armenia but differences among various Diaspora organizations.
“Hraparak” comments on Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian’s remark at the conference that Armenian territorial concessions to Azerbaijan are on the agenda of ongoing peace talks on Nagorno-Karabakh. Nalbandian referred to those lands whose return to Azerbaijan would create no “security threats to Karabakh” itself. The paper claims that this runs counter to statements made by Armenian officials just a few weeks ago.
“Aravot” is critical of the Armenian government’s plans to intensify Russian language classes in Armenia’s schools. “The language is not a secondary issue and they are well aware of this in imperial centers,” editorializes the paper. “Speaking a foreign language is a good thing. It doesn’t hurt to speak Russian, to put it mildly … But speaking a foreign language and giving it any official status are different things. That has nothing to do with Russia.” The paper says it would be just as critical of if the United States pressured Armenia to give English an official status.