Trump Congratulates Pashinyan, Urges Karabakh Peace

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WASHINGTON (RFE/RL) — US President Donald Trump stressed the importance of resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict when he congratulated Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on winning Armenia’s recent parliamentary elections.

“Congratulations on your appointment as Prime Minister of Armenia and your coalition’s success in the December 9, 2018 parliamentary elections,” Trump said in a letter made public by Pashinyan’s press office over the weekend.

“The United States supports a prosperous, democratic Armenia at peace with its neighbors,” he wrote. “Together, we can make progress on deepening trade between our countries, strengthening global security, and combating corruption.”

“A peaceful solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict will help these efforts,” added Trump.

Visiting Yerevan in October, Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton, said Washington expects Pashinyan to take “decisive steps” towards a Karabakh settlement after his widely anticipated victory in the snap elections. Pashinyan should have a “very strong mandate” to reach a compromise peace deal with Azerbaijan, Bolton said after talks with the Armenian leader.

Pashinyan’s My Step bloc won as much as 70 percent of the vote in the elections. The US Embassy in Armenia was quick to praise the conduct of the vote, echoing its positive assessment by European observers.

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