“Zhamanak” is pessimistic about the outcome of Thursday’s meeting in Krakow, Poland of the Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers. The paper says the only “rational expectation” from the talks is that they will help to maintain the current relative calm on the Armenian-Azerbaijani frontlines. This is what the U.S., Russian and French mediators are trying to achieve, it says. “On the other hand, the Russian foreign minister stated that the Karabakh conflict cannot be resolved with a single document and requires a phased approach. Azerbaijan welcomed that statement, while Armenia said [Sergei] Lavrov meant a phased implementation of a package settlement.”
“Aravot” comments on the criteria for the choice of Armenia’s next president which were laid out by President Serzh Sarkisian earlier this week. “Undoubtedly, the requirements listed by Serzh Sarkisian are important: speaking foreign languages, having a good reputation in Armenia and the Diaspora as well as international connections, being non-partisan and impartial,” editorializes the paper. “This is what the president probably meant when he spoke of [the next president’s] non-involvement in politics.” But, the paper says, the president’s “human qualities” are more important. The head of state must be an “extremely honest” and “wise” person who will not lose touch with ordinary people, it says.
“Hraparak” writes on growing reports that the National Assembly will elect Armen Sarkissian, Armenia’s ambassador to Britain, as the next president of the republic. “He not only by and large meets the requirements listed by Serzh Sarkisian the other day but has many connections in the outside world and, according to some reports, has already started using those connections for his needs,” says the paper. “Only one thing hampers his nomination. Under Article 124 of the constitution, the president of the republic cannot engage in entrepreneurial activity. But every politically conscious person in Armenia knows that Armen Sarkissian is also a successful businessman. But getting around the law and electing a president in an unconstitutional way is not a new phenomenon for our country. They will do that again.”
“Zhoghovurd” says the authorities are now busy telling the people that their quality of life has improved and citing various statistical data and positive reports by foreign agencies for that purpose. “But somehow reality is not changing regardless of their statements,” the paper says. “Citizens are witnessing a very different picture in their day-to-day life.”