Mnatsakanyan ‘Pleased’ With Bolton Meeting

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Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan (right) with National Security Advisor John Bolton in front of the White House on June 20

Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan (right) with National Security Advisor John Bolton in front of the White House on June 20

Armenia’s Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, who is in Washington for a summit with his Azerbaijani counterpart Elmar Mammadyarov said he was pleased with what he called a positive meeting he had at the White House with President Trump’s National Security Advisor John Bolton, who, in a Twitter post had announced Wednesday that he would be meeting with both foreign ministers.

“I am pleased with the positive, extensive and engaging discussion with Ambassador Bolton on Nagorno-Karabakh peaceful resolution process, Armenia’s and regional peace and security agenda, as well as Armenia-US bilateral cooperation. The US plays important role as OSCE MG Co-Chair along with Russia and France,” Mnatsakanyan said in a Twitter post after the meeting.

According to Armenia’s foreign ministry, Mnatsakanyan and Bolton discussed the meeting Mammadyarov, which is being mediate by the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmen. The foreign ministry spokesperson Anna Naghdalyan announced that the Mnatsakanyan-Mammadyarov meeting had kicked off, but no details about the talks were provided.

During his meeting with Bolton, Mnatsakanyan highlighted the consistency of Nagorno-Karabakh peace process and the efforts being undertaken by the U.S. and other Co-Chair countries toward this end. In this context, the foreign minister underscored the need for a consolidated effort to curtail ceasefire violations and the importance of implementing risk-reduction measures.

Foreign Minister Mnatsakanyan met with Azerbaijani counterpart Elmar Mammadyarov on June 20 in Washington

Foreign Minister Mnatsakanyan met with Azerbaijani counterpart Elmar Mammadyarov on June 20 in Washington

Bolton and Mnatsakanyan also discussed issues related to peace and security in the region and expressed readiness to advance U.S.-Armenia cooperation.

During his visit to Armenia last fall and in subsequent conversations with Armenia’s leaders, Bolton has emphasized the importance of a peaceful resolution to the Karabakh conflict. However, it was his offer to Armenia to purchase U.S.-made weapons, as well as his stern comments about United States policy vis-à-vis Iran that raised eyebrows when he visited Yerevan in October.

Bolton held a similar meeting with Mammadyarov, during which, according to the Azrebaijani foreign ministry, the two “had intensive and lengthy exchanges on various issues, including the current stage of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement and the ways of advancing the talks based on the substance.”

On Wednesday, Mnatsakanyan met with Under-Secretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale, with whom he discussed advancing U.S.-Armenia relations. The two emphasized the need to establish a platform for Armenian-American strategic dialogue, which would serve as a firm base for constantly enriching and expanding the bilateral agenda, and strengthening the political discourse.
At Hale’s request, Mnatsakanyan provided an overview of the current situation on the Karabakh peace talks, Armenia’s position and approaches on the conflict resolution process, as well as Armenia’s priorities for the Mammadyarov meeting.

Mnatsakanyan had met with the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmen and the Acting Assistant Secretary of State of European and Eurasian Affairs Philip Reeker on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively.

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