YEREVAN—Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said that during a phone conversation on Wednesday United States National Security Advisor John Bolton the two discussed the situation in the region, as well as advancing U.S.-Armenia relations.
“We discussed issues relating to the situation in the region and bilateral relations,” Pashinyan wrote on his Facebook page.
“We both emphasized the importance of Armenia-U.S. relations for our governments. We agreed to continue the discussions on the future development of our relations,” Pashinyan added in his Facebook post. He also insisted that the Karabakh conflict resolution process was not discussed. His conversation with Bolton took place a day after he met with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev in Davos, Switzerland.
“I called Prime Minister Pashinyan of Armenia yesterday to congratulate him on his re-appointment and applaud the Armenian people on free and fair elections in December. The U.S. supports his efforts to secure a prosperous future for Armenia,” Bolton said in a Twitter post.
Bolton visited Armenia in late October and urged Pashinyan and his government to quickly resolve the Karabakh conflict and in an unprecedented overture offered to sell U.S. weapons to Armenia—a provision prohibited by Congressional resolutions.
“I attach great importance to key strategic and security issues of mutual interest, including the US policy in terms of Iran, Russia and Syria, as well as this opportunity to examine our common efforts on increasing regional stability. We support the ongoing democratic changes in Armenia, that outline a more prosperous, freer and more independent future,” Bolton said during his visit to Armenia in October.
Bolton’s visit to Armenia and region was aimed at advancing the Trump administration’s policies in the region especially in light of the U.S. pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal and the increased dependence of Armenia on Russia. The announcement by Bolton that the U.S. was willing to sell arms to Armenia in order to discourage arms purchases from Russia was unprecedented, with Bolton calling Russian arms sales to both Armenia and Azerbaijan as destabilizing the region.
Bolton offered his brand of security alternatives for Armenia by speaking about possible U.S. arms sales to Yerevan.
“As I said to the prime minister, if it’s a question of buying Russian military equipment versus buying U.S. military equipment, we’d prefer the latter,” Bolton said at the time in an exclusive interview with Azatutyun.am. “We think our equipment is better than the Russians’ anyway.”