Washington briefing: U.S. reassures Armenia on Turkey talks

by Emil Sanamyan

Published: Friday May 22, 2009

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on April 22 testifying before the House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing.

Washington - A letter from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sent to Armenian President Serge Sargsian last week reiterated U.S. support for Armenia-Turkey talks.

The letter came just as Turkish leaders again ruled out normalization of relations unless Armenia makes concessions on the Karabakh issue, and an aide to Azerbaijan's president alleged that there was no progress on that issue because the United States and other mediators had a "Christian bias" in favor of Armenia.

The United States has supported Armenia's efforts to normalize relations with Turkey quickly and without preconditions, but the administration has identified no concrete timeframe and is seeking to achieve "parallel" progress in Karabakh talks.

Asked about the letter's intent, a State Department spokesperson told the Armenian Reporter that the letter was private and he could not comment on it.

The Armenian president's office said on May 15 that the letter also dealt with bilateral relations, including U.S. aid to Armenia channeled through the Millennium Challenge Corporation, whose board is chaired by Mrs. Clinton, and stressed the importance of free and fair conduct of the May 31 elections for Yerevan city council.

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