On February 18, Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland led a joint civilian-military delegation to Yerevan, Armenia to meet with senior Armenian government officials and civil society representatives to discuss a broad range of bilateral and regional issues. She also visited the 1915 Memorial at Tsitsernakaberd, which she described as “moving.” Speaking with media on February 18, Assistant Secretary Nuland stated that the purpose of the visit was to demonstrate that “America cares deeply about its partnership with Armenia.” She said she was honored to meet with Armenia’s President and Foreign Ministry, stating that in each meeting they discussed security issues, regional issues, and economics, in addition to democracy, human rights, civil society protections, and anti-corruption reforms. Assistant Secretary Nuland thanked Armenia and its “brave soldiers who served together with us in Afghanistan and Kosovo and we welcome also the deployment in Lebanon.” She also thanked the government of Armenia for its generosity to Syrian refugees fleeing the conflict there.
In her meetings with senior government officials, Assistant Secretary Nuland discussed several areas of economic cooperation, including clean energy technologies, the IT sector, tourism, and a new initiative in partnership with the Armenian government to promote anti-corruption measures, including e-governance and transparency in procurement. Assistant Secretary Nuland noted that such initiatives “not only protect the investment environment and protect the country’s democracy, but also close the space for outside interference in your economy.”
During her press conference, Assistant Secretary Nuland praised Armenia for its “vibrant civil society and the vibrant dialogue between government and civil society, which is a great strength in this region, something that Armenians have worked hard on since independence and something that the United States is very, very proud to support.” In her concluding remarks, she emphasized, in speaking about U.S.-Armenia relations, that “our partnership is strong, and we care deeply about Armenia’s ability to grow stronger, more prosperous, more independent and to represent a strong democratic image in this part of the world and to protect the rights of all Armenians to live freely.”