President Serzh Sarkisian reaffirmed his stated desire to bolster Armenia’s ties with the United States as he met with the visiting U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns late on Wednesday.
Burns arrived in Yerevan on the second leg of his tour of the three South Caucasus states. He held talks with Sarkisian and Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian.
A statement by Sarkisian’s press office said the Armenian leader told Burns that “Armenia has always been ready to strengthen relations with the United States.” He said those relations are a “guarantee” of the success of political and economic reforms in Armenia as well as regional stability.
Sarkisian also praised the U.S. role in international efforts to end the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, one of the main issues on the agenda of Burns’s talks in Baku and Yerevan.
According to the Armenian Foreign Ministry, the U.S. official told Nalbandian that the Karabakh dispute can only be resolved peacefully.
Speaking after talks with Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev on Tuesday, Burns likewise said that Washington believes that there can be no “military solution” to the conflict. But he also stressed that the Karabakh status quo cannot last much longer.
The Foreign Ministry said normalization of Armenia’s relations with Turkey was also on the agenda of Nalbandian’s meeting with Burns. “The U.S. deputy secretary of state said that the United States will continue to support that process,” it added without elaborating.