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“Zhamanak” comments on President Serzh Sarkisian’s latest televised interview in which he again refused to shed light on his political future. “Serzh Sarkisian was even more reticent about the subject this time around, effectively adding to the uncertainty,” writes the paper. “At the same time, he clearly hinted that Karen Karapetian’s ability and readiness to continue serving as prime minister are not a sufficient condition for keeping that post.”

“Haykakan Zhamanak” quotes an opposition activist, Davit Sanasarian, as criticizing a government decision to revoke a contract with an Armenian firm that was due to carry out construction work on the Armenian-Iranian border. That work was allegedly blocked by Russian border guards deployed along the frontier. “This is an absurd decision,” says Sanasarian. “It is a condemnable indicator of [the government’s] being spineless.”

“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” quotes Gagik Melikian, a senior parliamentarian from the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), as defending President Sarkisian’s controversial remark that the authorities will no longer show “clemency” for corrupt town and village mayors. Melikian claims that Sarkisian referred to those local government chiefs who “accidentally found themselves in such situations.” The paper laughs off this explanation. It says tartly that Melikian must not be blamed because he made such a claim “accidentally.” “He is obliged to do so by his party affiliation,” it says.

“Aravot” says the latest upsurge of tensions between Turkey and Israel means that there will be renewed calls in the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, for an official recognition of the 1915 Armenian genocide in the Ottoman Empire. “Some Armenians may be buoyed by that development,” editorializes the paper. “They would be wrong. First of all, [Israeli recognition of the genocide] will hardly happen. This issue has long been used for political blackmail. But most importantly, genocide recognition or non-recognition by anyone does make a difference for us.” The only potential benefit for Armenia, it says, is that Israel could stop selling weapons to Azerbaijan for a while because of Baku’s support for the Turkish stance on the status of Jerusalem.

(Tigran Avetisian)

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