President Serzh Sarkisian will meet U.S. President Barack Obama during his visit to Washington next week, Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian said on Wednesday.
“We are confident that the upcoming meeting of the presidents of Armenia and the United States will give new impetus, a new quality to our bilateral relations,” he told journalists.
Sarkisian is among foreign leaders that will participate in a summit on nuclear security in Washington scheduled for April 12-13. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton invited him to the summit in a phone call last month.
With Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan also due in Washington next week, observers believe the U.S. administration will use the forum for a last-ditch attempt to salvage the normalization Turkish-Armenian normalization agreements signed last October.
Asked about the possibility of a meeting between Sarkisian and Erdogan in the U.S. capital, Nalbandian said “no such agreement has been reached as yet.” But he noted that a senior Turkish diplomat, Feridun Sinirlioglu, is in currently Yerevan holding talks with Armenian leaders.
Nalbandian denied opposition leader Levon Ter-Petrosian’s claims that Armenia’s leadership is under growing international pressure to ensure the liberation of at least five of the seven Azerbaijani districts around Nagorno-Karabakh. He said that can not happen before an agreement on Karabakh’s future status.
“Not only Armenia but the three co-chairs [of the OSCE Minsk Group] understand that the main issue in the conflict is Karabakh’s status, the recognition and realization of the Karabakh people’s right to self-determination,” he said. “Without solving this issue it will hardly be possible to find solutions to other issues.”