Azeri War Rhetoric Hardening, Naldbandian Tells Knollenberg

WASHINGTON (Armenpress)–On the second day of his official visit to Washington, Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian on Tuesday met with members of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian issues to discuss the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the future of Armenia-Turkey relations, and the implementation of democratic reforms in Armenia.

During the meeting, Nalbandian briefed Knollenberg on Azerbaijan’s hardening war propaganda and its illegal build-up of arms. Azerbaijan’s ongoing violations of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe, he said, still do not receive proper attention from the international community.

he also discussed with Knollenberg the latest developmen’s in the Nagorno Karabakh conflict settlement process, as well as Armenia’s position on the normalization of Armenian-Turkish relations. He also briefed the US representative on democratic reforms in Armenia.

Nalbandian noted the central role played by the caucus in strengthening US-Armenia relations and thanked the its co-chair, Rep. Joe Knollenberg (R-MI), for the caucus’s longstanding work for Armenia.

Knollenberg discussed the activities and future programs of the caucus, saying that they are friends of the Armenian nation and will continue their activity for the benefit of Armenia and its people.

Established in 1995, the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues is an informal, bipartisan group of legislators dedicated to maintaining and strengthening the US-Armenia relationship.

Later in the day, Nalbandian gave a presentation on Armenia’s Foreign policy at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. His talk focused on stability and security in the South Caucasus, the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement process, and Armenian-Turkish relations.

He also met Tuesday with John Danilovich, the chief executive officer of the Millennium Challenge Corporation. The two men discussed issues related to the full resumption of the programs implemented in Armenia by the Corporation. The economic and political importance of the programs to Armenian-American relations was stressed during the meeting.

Ambassador Danilovich said specialists of the Corporation assess the joint work implemented in Armenia as effective and expressed hope that in September of the current year the Executive Board of the Millennium Challenge Corporation will have an opportunity to reconfirm Armenia’s compliance with the Corporation’s standards.

Earlier this week, the Armenian Government earmarked about $17 million to completing inter-village road reconstruction projects that have been frozen by the Millennium Challenge Corporation.

Nalbandian also held talks with the US Assistant Secretary of State on Human Rights David Cramer to discuss Armenia’s obligations to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. Cramer told Nalbandian that the United States wants Armenia to overcome the current challenges and continue developing its democracy. He said the US is ready to support Armenia in that regard.

On Monday, Nalbandian met with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to discuss the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict peace process, as well as efforts to establish relations with Turkey.

Following the meeting Rice and Nalbandian signed the "Joint Action Plan between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Republic of Armenia on Combating Smuggling of Nuclear and Radioactive Materials."

This political agreement expresses the intention of the two governmen’s to cooperate to increase the capabilities of the Republic of Armenia to prevent, detect, and respond effectively to attempts to smuggle nuclear or radioactive materials. It specifies twenty-eight agreed steps that the two governmen’s intend to be taken for this purpose.


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