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Press Review


“Aravot” regards the latest visits by Armenian and Azerbaijani journalists to each other’s countries as an “important event.” “Of course, nobody expects that such steps will lead to a breakthrough in Armenia-Azerbaijan or Artsakh-Azerbaijan relations,” writes the paper. “We can’t talk about any rapprochement or even a constructive dialogue. But since the Azerbaijani side agreed to such meetings and since relatively mild rhetoric was voiced during the meetings one can presume that official Baku is not interested in escalating the situation, including in the military sense. Of course this does not mean that our neighbors will not have such a desire one week or month later.”

“Our and their ideas of peace are extremely different,” “Aravot” goes on. “For the leaders of Turkey and Azerbaijan, peace will come only when not a single Armenian lives in this region. Ordinary Azerbaijanis probably do not have such extreme views. But by peace they mean a situation where the people of Artsakh are disarmed and Azerbaijani rule is established there. Does this mean we should not talk to neighbors? Of course we should.”

“Zhamanak” reports that young activists of the Dashnaktsutyun party demanding the resignation of Education Minister Arayik Harutiunian have ended their sit-in outside the Education Ministry in Yerevan and offered to meet with him. The paper claims that their campaign was part of a power struggle within “the former ruling elite.” It says that former President Serzh Sarkisian’s entourage is interested in a weakening of Dashnaktsutyun’s political positions and therefore did not want the campaign against Harutiunian to succeed.

“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that the spokesman for Sarkisian’s Republican Party (HHK), Eduard Sharmazanov, paid tribute to Anastas Mikoyan on Monday in a Facebook post dedicated to the 124th birthday anniversary of Josef Stalin’s Armenian-born associate. Sharmazanov said that Mikoyan was an internationally acclaimed statesman despite “contradictory actions” taken during his long political career. The pro-government paper suggests scornfully that the Republicans want ordinary Armenians to have the same attitude towards Serzh Sarkisian and his legacy. “Serzh Sarkisian took plenty of ‘contradictory steps,” it says. “He reinforced the HHK with criminal-oligarchic elements and ‘stamped’ percentage points for it during elections. He changed the constitution before the end of his second presidential term in order to continue his single-handed rule as prime minister. It is pathetic that a political force having such a leader is now talking about forcing the authorities into resignation and pre-term elections.”

(Lilit Harutiunian)

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