Foreign Ministry Assesses Arzoumanian US Visit

YEREVAN (ARMENPRESS)During a press conference–Tuesday–Arsen Gasparian–spokesperson for the Armenian Foreign Ministry reported on the results of Foreign Minister Alexander Arzoumanian’s visit to the US. According to Gasparian–the three key issues discussed during the visit were the settlement of the Karabakh conflict–Armenian-Turkish and US-Armenian relations.

The US stressed the need for bilateral communication and relations in order to find solutions to the Karabakh conflict–however Armenia did reaffirm its position against negotiating with Azerbaijan in the absence of Karabakh.

"We will continue to emphasize the security of Nagorno-Karabakh and its right to self-determination during the negotiations," said Gasparian.

Arzoumanian reiterated at a US State Department briefing that the three principles of Karabakh security–preservation of military forces and free access to the world–must be maintained while considering the settlement of the conflict.

As for Armenian-Turkish relations–the US shares Armenia’s view that closed borders between Armenia and Turkey hinder regional cooperation. Washington is also interested in the opening of borders–said Gasparian. Many find the best route for laying the pipe-line is through Armenian territory. At the same time–however–Armenia does not want the Karabakh and pipe-line issues to be intermixed

Referring to US-Armenia relations–Gasparian pointed out discussions on agreemen’s signed by the two countries on cooperation in the fields of technology and science.

The issue of US aid to Armenia was also discussed. Although there are talks of decreasing aid amounts to Armenia–according to Gasparian–his meetings yielded hopeful results. Arzoumanian did state during his talks that 10 percent of each additional $1 million will be spent on establishing democratic norms and standards.

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