YEREVAN (A.W.) —U.S. Ambassador to Armenia John Heffern bid farewell this month to Armenia after more than three years of service. Heffern first arrived in Yerevan with his wife Libby in October 2011.
Ambassador Heffern has worked to help set the groundwork for improving the business climate in Armenia and opening up the electoral process. He has said that Armenia’s future is a “knowledge-based economy.”
In a final press conference, Heffern said that there is no military solution to the Karabagh conflict, reported PanArmenian. He said the U.S. was ready to help resolve the conflict and to open borders, and that it would continue to work towards building democracy and strengthening human rights in Armenia. He noted that the lack of progress in Armenia-Turkey reconciliation was disappointing, but the U.S. would continue to support reconciliation. He also added that the U.S. viewed Azerbaijan as an important partner, especially in the energy sector and the development of relations with Iran.
The Armenian National Committee has been critical of U.S. foreign policy concerning Nagorno-Karabagh during the ambassador’s term, specifically the policy of placing equal responsibility on both Armenia and Azerbaijan, when one side is clearly the aggressor.