Washington briefing: Secretary Clinton calls Armenia

by Emil Sanamyan

Published: Saturday March 21, 2009

Hillary Clinton.

Washington - In the first high-level contact between the Obama administration and Armenian government, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke by telephone with President Serge Sargsian on March 17, Mediamax reported the next day citing the president's office.

"They covered a wide range of topics, including our shared efforts to advance a peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Armenia's relations with Turkey, and efforts to catalyze domestic reforms inside Armenia," the State Department's Caucasus, Turkey, and Greece manager, Deputy Assistant Secretary Matt Bryza told the Armenian Reporter.

The president's office specifically noted discussion of "programs of the U.S. Millennium Challenge Corporation in Armenia." Mrs. Clinton chairs the MCC board, which on March 11 criticized the Armenian government's handling of domestic issues following the presidential elections last year. The board is due to review Armenia's continued eligibility again in the next few months.

Eligibility for MCC aid is based on complex scoring criteria reflecting countries' political, social, and economic performance.

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