On US-Armenia relations
The US supports a democratic, prosperous and secure Armenia, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs George Kent told a press conference in Armenia.
Speaking about the democratic changes in Armenia and the possible parliamentary elections, Kent encouraged the “elections to be free and fair with participation by all.”
He reminded that in response to the changes in Armenia, the Velvet Revolution – the US has increased its assistance to Armenia “in support of the changes Armenians are taking forward.”
“It is not our agenda, but the Armenian people’s agenda with the Armenian government. We have a great deal of experience in fighting against corruption, in helping other countries create new institutions whether it’s Georgia or Ukraine. Some of those lessons may apply, some may not. It’s up to Armenia to make a decision, but the US as a partner will be there if Armenia asks,” the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State said.
“As my conversation with the American Chamber showed, Armenia faces great challenges in creating an economy that provides decent jobs for Armenians, and we are very supportive of programs and ways of diversifying the Armenian economy,” George Kent said.
“US companies will be prepared to invest in Armenia, if the investment climate is supportive of large-scale investment,” he added.
Kent said there are good opportunities to build US-Armenia relationship in cultural, education spheres and economy. “US officials and US partners will work with Armenians where Armenians wants us to work,” he stated.
On Karabakh conflict
“The US is one of the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, and we helped arrange meetings in New York between the Armenian and Azerbaijan Foreign Ministers,” the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State said
After that Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev met in Dushanbe during the gathering of CIS leaders.
“Both leaders told me they evaluated that interaction positively. The US is supportive of bringing the two sides together and of leaders talking directly,” he noted.
The co-chairs, along with Armenia and Azerbaijan are all members of the OSCE. All of our countries endorse the OSCE principles of non-use of force, territorial integrity and the right of peoples to self-determination.
“Each country may have its interpretation, but those are the guiding principles for everyone,” he said.
“Our role is to facilitate contacts between the parties involved so that they can discuss all the issues and seek resolution,” Kent added.
On Trump-Pashinyan meeting
“As diplomats we are always supporting meetings between our leaders. I’m sure there will be a meeting, but I can’t tell you exactly when and where,” George Kent said.
He assumes it will be part of the conversation between Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Assistant to US President for National Security Affairs John Bolton during the latter’s upcoming visit to Armenia.