The ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) on Tuesday described as “very inspiring” U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s largely positive assessment of last month’s parliamentary elections and reforms implemented by President Serzh Sarkisian’s government.
“Naturally, the secretary’s positive evaluation of the May elections in Armenia is very important to us,” Eduard Sharmazanov, the chief HHK spokesman, told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am).
“In the past the State Department was often more critical [of Armenian elections,] whereas today the secretary of state from a country like the United States is very highly assessing democratic reforms implemented in Armenia and presenting the president of my country as an outstanding leader,” he said.
Speaking after talks with Sarkisian in Yerevan on Monday, Clinton said she was “very pleased” with Western observers’ preliminary report on the May 6 parliamentary elections and expressed hope that the conduct of the next Armenian ballot will be “even better.” She also praised the Sarkisian administration’s efforts to improve the country’s problematic investment climate.
“We know very well that neither Mrs. Clinton nor the American diplomacy is uttering any word for nothing,” Sharmazanov said. “This is very important to us. I think that we must do everything to further raise the quality of our elections.”
The ruling party spokesman, who is also one of the two deputy speakers of the new Armenian parliament, also stressed the importance of Clinton’s “positive statements” on the normalization of Turkish-Armenian relations.
Clinton again endorsed official Yerevan’s view that Turkey should ratify U.S.-brokered normalization agreements signed with Armenia in 2009 “without preconditions.”