Top Biden Aide Meets Armenian Official

Top Biden Aide Meets Armenian Official

U.S. President Joe Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, met with a senior Armenian official in Washington late on Thursday for talks on regional security and U.S.-Armenian relations.

“We discussed the security situation and challenges in the region and the wider region,” Armen Grigorian, the secretary of Armenia’s Security Council, wrote on Facebook on Friday. “In this context, I presented to my interlocutor the Armenian side’s approaches to a number of important directions.”

In his words, bilateral ties were also on the agenda, with both men calling for closer U.S.-Armenian cooperation on “energy, economy and democracy.” Grigorian did not explicitly mention ongoing Armenian-Azerbaijani peace talks or give other details of the meeting.

Neither Sullivan nor his office issued a statement on the meeting that came one week after the Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers concluded a new round of U.S.-mediated negotiations on an Armenian-Azerbaijani peace treaty. The ministers held trilateral meetings in Washington with Sullivan and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Blinken said on June 29 that despite “further progress” made by them “there remains hard work to be done to try to reach a final agreement.” Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan likewise noted on Thursday that the progress “not significant.”

“Unfortunately, the text of the peace treaty between Armenia and Azerbaijan is not yet ready for signing,” Pashinyan said.

The Armenian Foreign Ministry said on June 30 that the conflicting sides continue to disagree on mechanisms for delimiting the Armenian-Azerbaijan border and organizing a dialogue between Baku and Nagorno-Karabakh’s leadership.

The U.S. ambassador to Armenia, Kristina Kvien, on Thursday reaffirmed Washington’s support for such dialogue. “The question of the rights and security of the population of Nagorno-Karabakh is central to the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan,” she said.