Armenia, U.S. to upgrade Strategic Dialogue meeting to Strategic Partnership Commission

Armenia, U.S. to upgrade Strategic Dialogue meeting to Strategic Partnership Commission

PanARMENIAN.Net - The Governments of Armenia and the United States have release a statement on the occasion of the U.S.-Armenia Strategic Dialogue Capstone meeting, held in Yerevan on June 11.

Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan hosted Assistant Secretary of State for Europe and Eurasia James C. O’Brien and an interagency government delegation for the U.S.-Armenia Strategic Dialogue (USASD) Capstone meeting. During the Capstone meeting, Armenia and the United States reviewed progress on strengthening bilateral relations and outlined a vision for deepening ties in the coming year, to be formalized in a Memorandum of Understanding, to upgrade the status of our bilateral dialogue to a Strategic Partnership Commission.

“We look forward to outlining the specific lines of effort to deepen our relations in the coming months. The sides positively assessed cooperation to support Armenia’s ongoing reforms and democratic progress and noted Armenia’s aspirations for closer cooperation with Euro-Atlantic institutions and the West. The United States reiterated its support for Armenia’s sovereignty, independence, democracy, and territorial integrity, in line with the 1991 Alma-Ata Declaration,” the joint statement reads.

The rest of the statement reads:

Supporting Armenia’s Economic and Energy Resilience

The delegations reviewed joint efforts to promote mutual prosperity and economic and energy resilience through closer cooperation, taking note of the important conversations on these topics that took place during the Joint EU-U.S.-Armenia High Level Meeting on April 5, 2024, in Brussels. Noting that U.S.-Armenia trade turnover has already quadrupled since 2020, the sides committed to continue to expand commercial and trade ties to the greatest extent possible. The sides discussed increasing cooperation on sanctions and export controls. They also reviewed options for export licensing to facilitate more trade in advanced technology items. Discussion also focused on promoting Armenia’s food security and energy independence, including work already being done to identify U.S. commercial solutions in nuclear energy and renewables. USAID intends to support Armenia to develop a transport strategy to underpin Armenia’s vision of the “Crossroads of Peace,” encouraging and strengthening regional trade and connectivity through a just and durable peace. This peace will unlock the entire region’s potential and bring substantial benefits for all people in the region.

The United States acknowledges the ongoing economic and social challenges Armenia faces in supporting displaced persons and refugees from Nagorno-Karabakh and intends to continue to assist the Government of Armenia’s efforts in this regard. The United States praised Armenia’s efforts to shelter displaced persons and refugees, and Armenia offered appreciation for the more than $21 million in humanitarian assistance the United States has provided to support displaced persons and refugees from Nagorno-Karabakh since September 2020.

Strengthening Security and Law Enforcement Cooperation for Mutual Benefit

Capstone meeting participants acknowledged the important role of U.S. assistance to Armenia’s defense transformation and law enforcement development initiatives, which the United States intends to continue to support through advisory programs, military-to-military contact activities, professional military education opportunities through the International Military Education and Training (IMET) program, and the long-standing State Partnership Program with the Kansas National Guard. Delegations also recognized the significant cooperation milestone reached with Exercise Eagle Partner 2023. Representatives of the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Armenia and the U.S. Department of Defense also commended the start of the first annual Staff Talks between U.S. European Command and the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Armenia in May 2024 and resolved to initiate formal U.S.-Armenia Bilateral Defense Consultations to regularize planning of defense cooperation objectives.

Building on the successful establishment of Armenia’s Patrol Police, which achieved nationwide coverage in 2023, the two sides discussed future U.S. assistance to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, including planned efforts to develop police education and modernize human resources structures to increase accountability and sustainability.

The United States appreciates Armenia’s continued contributions to global peacekeeping operations and looks forward to additional cooperation on peacekeeping and law enforcement development.

Promoting Justice, Democratic Institutions and Shared Democratic Values

The delegations took stock of ongoing cooperation in the justice sector, acknowledging significant U.S. contributions to Armenia’s justice sector reform efforts. The United States intends to also continue to support Armenian institutions focused on preventing and combating corruption and transnational organized crime, as well as efforts aimed at fostering judicial impartiality, integrity and independence. The delegations discussed planned programming to support victims and witnesses and ensure access to justice. The United States will continue to support the development of a robust civil society and independent media environment to further strengthen Armenia’s democratic institutions and increase transparency. Both sides emphasized the importance of respecting human rights and fundamental freedoms, and the rule of law and pledged to work together in this regard. The United States and Armenia reaffirmed their commitment to shared democratic values and to the goal of an Armenia that is democratic, prosperous, and peaceful.

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