Washington briefing: Armenian FM to visit U.S. after “historic step” with Turkey

by Emil Sanamyan

Published: Saturday May 02, 2009

Armenia's Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian visited Washington in July 2008, where he met with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Armenian Reporter

Washington - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton telephoned Armenian foreign minister Edward Nalbandian to welcome the April 22 statement by the foreign ministries of Armenia and Turkey as a "historic step," Armenia's Public Radio reported on April 28. The statement committed Armenia and Turkey to an "on-­going process" with a goal of normalizing bilateral relations.

According to informed sources, Mrs. Clinton also extended an invitation for Mr. Nalbandian to visit Washington early next week, which the foreign minister accepted.

Meanwhile, the Armenian Assembly of America reported that on April 27 its leader Hirair Hovnanian was telephoned by Vice President Joe Biden. According to the Assembly, "they exchanged views on the history and status of Armenian-American community efforts to obtain affirmation by the U.S. government of the Armenian Genocide."

According to U.S. and Armenian reports, last week Mr. Biden called Armenian President Serge Sargsian twice, both before and after the April 22 statement was made public. During the second call, Mr. Sargsian was praised for his "leadership" on the issue.

For its part, the Assembly welcomed the April 22 statement by Armenia and Turkey, while also expressing disappointment about President Barack Obama's April 24 statement that did not contain the word genocide.

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