Bolton: Relations with Armenia a top priority for the US

U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton holds a press briefing at the U.S. Embassy in Yerevan on Oct. 25 2018

U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton holds a press briefing at the U.S. Embassy in Yerevan on Oct. 25 2018

He said the Karabakh settlement remains one of the priority issues of the Armenian foreign policy agenda, stressing that if the resolution of this issue were easy, it would have been settled long time ago.

"From the Armenian point of view the surest way to reduce excessive outside influence is to reach a resolution on Nagorno Karabakh, the USA official said".

Bolton's talks with Pashinian came a day after the USA national-security adviser met in Baku with Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev and Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov - vowing that Washington will continue to support a peaceful resolution to the conflict between Baku and Yerevan over Azerbaijan's breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region. "So I think this is something we should consider consistent with our statutory framework".

Voskanyan stressed the same can not be said for Azerbaijan, where Bolton had "productive" talks, according to Azerbaijani media.

Commenting on potential security alternatives for Armenia, Bolton, who met Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow earlier this week, spoke of possible USA arms sales to Yerevan.

"We are ready to support this", he said.

Bolton's visit to Armenia and region was aimed at advancing the Trump administration's policies in the region especially in light of the US pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal and the increased dependence of Armenia on Russian Federation.

Bolton also said the Trump administration wants to "look at" possibilities of weapons sales to Armenia that would not violate restrictions the U.S. Congress has imposed.

The border between Armenia and Iran, with its historical changes, is among the oldest in the world, an Armenian expert on Iran, Vardan Voskanyan, said on Facebook.

Speaking on a visit to the Armenian capital, Bolton told reporters that Russian arms sales to both countries have "clearly not contributed to the resolution of the dispute because of the enormous leverage it gives Russia over both parties". "We think our equipment is better than the Russians' anyway". "So I think conversation between the government of Armenia and the United States is going to be very important".

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