Armenia’s Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, who is in Washington this week, held meetings with the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmen and the acting assistant Secretary of State of European and Eurasian Affairs, ahead of scheduled summit on Wednesday with his Azerbaijani counterpart Elmar Mammadyarov. In a tweet on Tuesday, President Trump’s National Security Advisor John Bolton announced that he would be meeting with both foreign ministers during their visit to Washington.
“Looking forward to meetings later this week with the Foreign Minister of Armenia and the Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan, to encourage continued dialogue between them,” Bolton tweeted on Tuesday. “The United States stands ready to assist in advancing the cause of peace in the region,” he added.
It was not immediately clear whether Bolton was going meet the foreign ministers separately or at the same time.
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.
On Tuesday, Mnatsakanyan met with the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs, Igor Popov of Russia, Stéphane Visconti of France and Andrew Schofer of the U.S., as well as the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Andrzej Kasprzyk to discuss continued efforts to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
“During the preparatory meeting the interlocutors assessed the current situation of the peace process, including in the context of implementation of agreements that were reached during previous meetings,” the Armenian foreign ministry said in a press statement.
On Wednesday, Mnatsakanyan met with acting assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Ambassador Philip Reeker. Deputy Assistant Secretary of U.S. Department of State George Kent, OSCE Minsk Group American Co-chair Andrew Schofer and Armenia’s Ambassador of the U.S. Varujan Nersesyan were also present at the meeting.
A broad range of issues regarding U.S.-Armenia partnership were discussed and all parties underlined their collective willingness to expand and further enrich the agenda of multidimensional cooperation.
In welcoming the first session of Armenian-U.S. strategic dialogue that took place in Yerevan in May, Mnatsakanyan reaffirmed Armenia’s commitment to implementing the agreements reached at that meeting.
Mnatsakanyan briefed Ambassador Reeker about the reform processes underway in Armenia, especially emphasizing reforms in the judiciary and law enforcement. In this context, Mnatsakanyan particularly highlighted the support of various international partners and the coordination of that support.
Urgent regional concerns were also brought up during the talks, during which Mnatsakanyan also discussed the latest efforts by the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmen on resolving the Karabakh conflict.