After a two-day visit to Artsakh, Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) met with Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, President Armen Sarkissian and Speaker of Armenia’s parliament Ararat Mirzoyan on Thursday upon returning to Yerevan.
Welcoming Pallone’s visit to Armenia and Artsakh, Pashinyan expressed confidence that his visit will help strengthen the congressman’s relationship with the Armenian people.
Pashinyan also praised Pallone’s efforts in the advancement of U.S.-Armenia relations and in raising issues of Armenian concern in Congress. Pashinyan discussed his recent visit to California and expressed confidence that it will help boost cooperation between Armenia and one of the largest U.S. states.
Pallone, who is the founding co-chair of the Congressional Armenian Caucus, told Pashinyan that he was impressed by the non-violent velvet popular revolution and the democratic processes underway in the country. The Congressman expressed readiness to promote interaction between the two countries, support Armenia and the Armenian people.
The parties also discussed the Armenian government’s ambitious reform agenda, the ongoing cooperation with the U.S. government, as well as to regional developments.
“You are Armenia’s good friend,” said President Sarkissian in greeting Pallone.
Sarkissian and Pallone discussed U.S.-Armenia relations agenda with the the president highlighting American support in the science and technology sector. In this context Sarkissian briefed Pallone on one his initiatives known as ATOM–Advanced Tomorrow—which aims at bringing representatives of leading international information and high-tech enterprises to Armenia and making Armenia one of the leading global centers in the sector of artificial intelligence and mathematical modeling. Sarkissian said he would be happy to see American companies in Armenia as part of the project.
The meeting also touched upon the prospects of development and existing challenges under Armenia’s fairly new parliamentary system of government, as well as the changes that have taken place in the country.
Parliament Speaker Mirzoyan thanked Pallone for accepting his invitation, once again, to visit Armenia and expressed his gratitude for Pallone’s continued support for Armenia and Artsakh in Congress.
Mirzoyan told Pallone that Armenia is committed to the Karabakh conflict resolution negotiations that are being held under the auspices of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs, adding that there are no other alternatives to a peaceful resolution to the conflict.
The National Assembly speaker briefed the visiting member of Congress about the democratic reforms taking place in Armenia, as well as discussed the legislative agenda ahead to advance reforms in various sectors in Armenia, saying that the proposed changes would facilitate future American investment.
Pallone also briefed Mirzoyan about his visit to Artsakh and said that his days in Armenia have provided him with a broader understanding the priorities of the Armenian-American agenda.
Upon arriving in Armenia on Monday, Pallone met with His Holiness Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians at Etchmiadzin.