The United States views the US-Armenia relations as a top priority, US National Security Adviser John Bolton told reporters in Yerevan.
“This is a region that is strategically important to the United States. We would be eager to help in the resolution of the Karabakh conflict both through our co-chairmanship of the OSCE Minsk Group, but also in any way we can behind the scenes,” he said.
“I think the resolution of the conflict would obviously not only benefit Armenia and Azerbaijan, but also the US,” he said.
“If the resolution of the Karabakh conflict is the primary issue on the Armenian political agenda, there is no better time for taking a decisive action other than right after the election,” Bolton stated.
Speaking about the forthcoming parliamentary elections in Armenia, Bolton said “if predictions come true, Nikol Pashinyan will have a very strong mandate and that is the most opportune moment to take strong action in a number of different respects.”
“The solution to the conflict is definitely difficult. If it was easy, it would have been resolved. It was not my intention to come here with a change in US policy or new suggestions, but to learn about the way things stand. I think it’s up to the parties to try and find the solution,” Bolton added.
“From the Armenian point of view the surest way to reduce excessive outside influence is to reach a resolution on Nagorno Karabakh, the US official said.
He quoted one of his former bosses as saying about another long-standing conflict that “we can want peace more than they do” and added that the same could be applicable to the Karabakh conflict.
As for the US arms sales to Azerbaijan, and possibility for Armenia to acquire American weapons, Bolton said: “Most of Armenian weapons come from Russia, and as I understand 80 percent of Azerbaijan’s purchase of arms comes from Russia. That circumstance certainly does not contribute to the resolution of the conflict, as the enormous leverage it gives to Russia over those parties does not produce peace.”
In this context he noted that the American equipment is better than Russian in any case.