Morningstar Says Armenia Should Have Say in Regional Issues

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–Armenia must take part in all important aspects of the region–said Special Advisor to President and Secretary of State on Caspian Basin Energy Diplomacy Richard Morningstar in an interview with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Thursday.

Morningstar–who advises the president and the US State Department on energy and the development of the Caspian oil–was in the region discussing the development of pipeline which would carry Azeri Caspian oil from Baku to the Turkish port city of Ceyhan.

Aside from discussing feasibilities related to the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline–Iran’s proposal for transferring the oil to the West and Caspian ecological concerns–Morningstar also addressed political issues related to the Caucasus.

In response to reporters’ questions–Morningstar stated that the US hoped that Armenia would take part in Caspian oil issues and advocated a peaceful resolution to the Karabakh conflict.

He outlined however–that Armenia’s participation in the Caspian oil issues–greatly depended on the Karabakh conflict resolution.

Morningstar stated that the East-West route was more that just a oil or gas transport route–adding that the connection also envisioned rail transport–trade and communications.

"Armenia must have the opportunity to take part in important issues related to the region and must be included in one of the oil pipeline ventures in the Caspian–in order to have an artery in the oil transport route," said Morningstar.

The ambassador explained that the Karabakh conflict resolution would greatly benefit Armenia’s access in such an endeavor.

Morningstar commented that the interests of Armenia and Azerbaijan dictate that the peace process emerge from the current deadlock–since such a step would enhance trade and both countries would benefit economically.

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