(Saturday, September 23)
“Haykakan Zhamanak” says that of all leaders of major world powers Russia’s President Vladimir Putin sent the “weakest” congratulatory message to Serzh Sarkisian in connection with the 26th anniversary of Armenia’s independence marked on September 21. “Unlike the Russian president’s message, U.S. President Donald Trump’s message not only did not repeat last year’s congratulation but also had an unprecedentedly detailed content,” comments the paper. It speculates that by praising Armenia’s cooperation with NATO Trump urged Armenia to “come out of Russia’s zone of influence.”
“Zhoghovurd” comments on controversy caused by Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian’s statement that Armenian territorial concessions to Azerbaijan are a key issue on the agenda of ongoing peace talks on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. “The outcry caused by Nalbandian’s statement is not surprising for a number of reasons,” writes the paper. “First of all, within the county and in the Armenian Diaspora there is a lack of trust in Serzh Sarkisian’s administration. People are rightly convinced that he is unable to defend Armenia’s interests, including on the Karabakh issue, in the international arena. Besides, in the last 20 years the authorities have never tried to engage in a dialogue with the public and to honestly and openly talk about the essence of the Karabakh conflict and variants of its resolution. They have not presented the real picture.”
“Zhamanak” says that the main result of the latest Armenia-Diaspora conference in Yerevan is the official start of preparations for the establishment of a “pan-Armenian council.” “This is Serzh Sarkisian’s idea which has several political subtexts connected with Sarkisian’s political plans or scenarios,” the paper says. “One of those apparent subtexts is that with the creation of the pan-Armenian council Serzh Sarkisian will essentially dissolve his coalition with Dashnaktsutyun … The pan-Armenian council will most probably be a supranational body that will at least morally dictate actions to both national and state organizations.” That, the paper claims, will make his power-sharing agreement with Dashnaktsutyun meaningless.