July 14, 2021 – 12:38 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net – U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has prioritized the need for resuming the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs’ activities with a clear-cut agenda, according to information provided by acting Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s office.
Blinken and Pashinyan discussed the matter and a number of other topics in a phone call initiated by the latter on Tuesday, July 13.
The Secretary congratulated Pashinyan on his party’s victory in the snap parliamentary elections, “appreciating the consistent steps taken by the Armenian government in recent years to build on the country’s democratic achievements,” Pashinyan’s office said in a statement. Blinken hailed Pashinyan’s efforts to handle the electoral tensions peacefully and build civilized relations with the opposition.
“Highlighting the Armenian government’s reform agenda, which specifically seeks to curb corruption and improve the judiciary, Blinken assured that the United States will provide continued support in this direction. He noted that the partnership between the two countries is based on democratic values,” the statement reads.
Pashinyan thanked the Secretary of State for his assessment of Armenia’s democratic achievements. The Acting Premier appreciated the U.S. side’s continued support to his government’s efforts aimed at strengthening democratic institutions and the rule of law in Armenia, as well as launching a police patrol service in Yerevan. Hopeful that the assistance will help complete this process successfully, Pashinyan advised that the patrol service will be introduced nationwide in the near future.
The Acting Prime Minister hailed the efforts made by Deputy Secretary of State Philip Reeker to ensure the repatriation of Armenian POWs from Azerbaijan a month ago. The repatriation of POWs and the withdrawal of Azerbaijani troops from Armenia’s sovereign territory were described as key issues in the context of achieving regional stability.
“The Secretary of State assured that the United States will continue its efforts to ensure the return of all prisoners of war. With reference to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Antony Blinken prioritized the need for resuming the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs’ activities, emphasizing that a clear-cut agenda has to be developed for the peace process that would help find a lasting and comprehensive resolution of the conflict,” the statement added.
“In this context, Nikol Pashinyan underscored that the conflict is not resolved and calls for a comprehensive settlement, which can only be achieved in the Minsk Group co-chairing format. The U.S. side agreed with the Acting Prime Minister’s view that the status quo cannot be stable and the Minsk Group Co-Chairs need a clear agenda conducive to successful negotiations.”