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U.S. Lauds Armenia’s Reform Efforts


U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at a news conference with British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab at the State Department in Washington, U.S., September 16, 2020.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo praised the Armenian government’s declared efforts to root out corruption, strengthen the rule of law and improve the domestic business environment when he congratulated Armenia on its Independence Day on Monday.

“The United States welcomes Armenia’s continued commitment to strengthening the rule of law, establishing an independent judiciary, and increasing economic and investment opportunities,” read a statement issued by Pompeo on the occasion.

“We commend Armenia’s ongoing efforts to combat corruption through transparency, due process, and increased accountability to citizens, and we will continue to support you in these efforts,” added the statement.

The U.S. increased its annual assistance to Armenia by 40 percent, to over $60 million, last year in a bid to support the implementation of the Armenian government’s ambitious reform agenda. Lynne Tracy, the U.S. ambassador in Yerevan, stated last November that “democracy in Armenia is stronger than ever” now.

Both Pompeo and U.S. President Donald Trump reaffirmed on Monday Washington’s readiness to deepen ties with the South Caucasus nation.

“We are prepared to continue cooperating in the areas of mutual interest, including the expansion of bilateral trade and investment exchanges, the furtherance of the rule of law, regional stability, and the strengthening of your country’s sovereignty,” Trump said in a congratulatory message to Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian.

“The Armenian and American peoples boast strong and enduring ties, be it in the face of a new global pandemic or in the side-by-side international peacekeeping operations in Afghanistan or Kosovo,” he wrote.

Earlier this year, Washington provided Yerevan with at least $6.5 million in aid designed to help it cope with the coronavirus pandemic.

Pashinian assured Trump in July that his government is committed to boosting Armenia’s “friendly relations” with the U.S. He also praised Washington’s policy on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Pompeo mentioned the conflict in his statement. He urged the conflicting parties to resume “substantive” peace talks “as soon as possible.”

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