WASHINGTON—Armenia has made major progress in democratizing its political system and improving its human rights record in the last several years, according to a senior U.S. State Department official.
“The fact is that Armenia has a truly multi-partisan parliament and that there is real debate in the media. There is freedom of assembly in Armenia. There is a society where people are free to express their views,” Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Eric Rubin told the Armenian service of the Voice of America in an interview.
“We want to support that by working together with the authorities,” Rubin said this week. “I think that Armenia has had real achievements in this area in recent years.”
The remarks are in tune with Washington’s largely positive assessment of Armenia’s last parliamentary and presidential elections held in 2012 and 2013 respectively. President Serzh Sarkisian received congratulatory letters from President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry after his disputed reelection.
Obama said that he expects from Sarkisian “continued improvements in democracy and the economic reforms.” “Your reelection presents opportunities to advance the relationship between our two countries,” he wrote.
Sarkisian received no congratulatory message from Obama’s predecessor, George W. Bush, when he became president in an even more disputed election in 2008.