The United States stands ready to help Armenia’s new government combat corruption and attract more U.S. investments in the Armenian economy, a senior U.S. State Department official said during a visit to Yerevan on Monday.
Bridget Brink, the deputy assistant secretary of state for European affairs, met with Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian for the first time since he swept to power in a democratic revolution earlier this month. She also held separate talks with President Armen Sarkissian and Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanian.
“She welcomed the Prime Minister’s stated commitment to fight corruption and offered continued U.S. support for anti-corruption efforts,” the U.S. Embassy in Yerevan said in a statement.
According to the statement, Brink told Mnatsakanian that Washington is committed to “working with the new government to strengthen bilateral ties and attract additional U.S. investment.” “She pointed to the U.S.-Armenia Task Force (USATF) as an opportunity to make real progress in advancing mutual goals,” added the statement.
Pashinian was reported to tell the visiting U.S. official that his government would like to deepen Armenia’s ties with the U.S. “in all areas, including the political and economic ones, democracy building and human rights protection.”He reiterated that the fight against corruption is one of its top priorities.
The unresolved Nagorno-Karabakh conflict was also on the agenda of Brink’s talks in Yerevan. The U.S. Embassy cited her as saying that Washington will “remain actively engaged with the sides in seeking a peaceful solution” to the dispute.
Pashinian’s press office said the Armenian premier stressed in that regard the importance of “creating and strengthening an atmosphere aimed at peace.” It gave no details.
The U.S. diplomat also met with a group of local youth activists. “I am heartened by the spirit of the Armenian people, and especially encouraged by you – the young leaders of Armenia – who have shown such passion and dedication to building a bright future for your country,” she said, apparently alluding to their active participation in recent mass protests in the country.
Washington closely monitored the dramatic events that led to the resignation of Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisian. The State Department repeatedly urged Armenia political factions to embark on dialogue. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Wess Mitchell had phone conversations with Pashinian and then Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian on April 30.