YEREVAN (Armenpress)—Direct flights between Armenia and the US should be based on economic and business factors, said Bridget Brink, U.S. State Department Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs.
Asked to comment on the Open Sky policy of the Republic of Armenia and the perspectives of direct flight between Armenia and the US, Brink noted “I can say I would love to see that possibility. It’s going to be a commercial business decision. And I really applaud the reforms that have been done so far to do the Open Skies treaty and agreement. And that, I know, has opened up possibilities for more flights to and from Armenia.”
“So as Armenia’s economy grows, as the tourist business grows, if Armenia becomes this hub of the region — which would be fantastic — and if some of these things that are, right now, potential barriers including issues like corruption, judicial independence, finding a resolution to regional protracted conflicts – I think the sky is the limit. So we strongly support it in terms of having more options in Armenia. And we’ll do what we can as a government,” Brink said.
Regarding the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Brink stated that “The U.S. supports the agreements on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict reached during Vienna and Saint Petersburg meetings and does everything for the comprehensive settlement of the conflict.”
“We are trying to be supportive both through co-Chairs and my Secretary of State and we strongly support moving forward the few agreements from the May meeting in Vienna and the June meeting in Saint Petersburg to move forward in both of those confidence building measures and also discussion on a comprehensive settlement,” noted the State Department official.
Brink also stressed that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict hinders the ability for Armenia to fully take advantage of its geographic location.
“Resolution to that [NK conflict] has great potential to Armenia’s economic growth and strength. Because it could open up pathways, both geographic pathways and other connections which could help this whole region,” she said.
“We strongly support economic development, both in Armenia and also regionally. I mean, Armenia is very importantly located in a region that is a crossroads, from the East to the West. And developing that as a possible crossroads for goods, people, services, is very important,” said the State Department official.