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Yerevan Hopes For Pashinian-Trump Meeting


Belgium - U.S. President Donald Trump and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian talk during a NATO summit in Brussels, 11 July 2018.

A first-ever meeting of U.S. President Donald Trump and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian would give a further boost to U.S.-Armenian relations, Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanian said on Wednesday.

Trump and Pashinian greeted each other at a July 2018 NATO summit in Brussels and a UN reception hosted by the U.S. president in New York in September 2018. But they have not held official meetings so far.

Pashinian announced on Monday that he will travel to the United States and meet with members of the Armenian community in Los Angeles next month. He did not say whether he will hold talks with any U.S. officials during the trip.

Mnatsakanian said that the United States and Armenia are engaged in an “active political dialogue” and that Yerevan is satisfied with its “level.”

“As regards a meeting at the highest level, it remains on our agenda and I am sure that that moment will come,” he told a joint news conference with Uruguay’s visiting Foreign Minister Rodolfo Nin Novoa.

“We have many issues on the [U.S.-Armenia] agenda,” Mnatsakanian went on. “Some of them are contentious issues that relate to next steps. But that is only natural in the sense that this is a relationship between two partners.”

Pashinian pledged to strengthen bilateral ties when he congratulated Trump on America’s Independence Day in a July 4 message. “Armenia is eager to improve these relations and develop multifaceted cooperation between our two countries,” he wrote.

Successive Armenian governments have sought closer partnership with the West while keeping Armenia allied to Russia. The U.S. ambassador in Yerevan, Lynne Tracy, said in May that “the Armenian-Russian relationship should not and does not preclude Armenia from also pursuing strong, mutually beneficial relations with the United States, the European Union, and other partners.”

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