WASHINGTON—Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) Executive Director Aram Hamparian issued the following statement upon the election of Nikol Pashinyan as the Republic of Armenia’s Prime Minister earlier today.
Armenia’s peaceful, constitutional, domestically-driven political transition—through today’s election of Nikol Pashinyan as Armenia’s Prime Minister—has been welcomed across the Washington, D.C. foreign policy community:
- Raising Armenia’s profile among U.S. policymakers as an independent, reliable, and democratic partner in advancing shared regional and international priorities;
- Sharpening the contrast between Armenia’s progress (despite dual blockades by Baku and Ankara) and the deepening democratic deficits in neighboring Azerbaijan and Turkey;
- Fostering a more conducive environment for a Double Tax Treaty, a Millennium Challenge grant, non-stop LA to Yerevan flights, and other ANCA-backed U.S. kick-starters for growth in bilateral trade and investment;
- Raising international investor confidence in Armenia as a stable, reliable, safe, law-based, and profitable place to do business, within the Armenian market and as a platform to Eurasia and the Greater Middle East;
- Opening the door to Artsakh’s long-overdue return to constructive participation in the ongoing Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group talks to resolve Artsakh-Azerbaijan status and security issues;
- Creating new opportunities for the expansion of U.S.-Armenia military dialogue and cooperation, including financial, training, and logistical support for Armenia’s international peace-keeping capabilities.
Nikol Pashinyan was elected prime minister with a vote of 59 to 42. The election capped several weeks of peaceful, primarily youth-led protests by hundreds of thousands throughout Armenia, which led to the resignation of former Prime Minister Serge Sarkisian, who had held the position for a mere six days. Pashinyan was elected based on a platform of democratic and economic reform, pledging to hold fresh parliamentary elections.
Pashinyan has promised to continue the peaceful negotiations for the resolution of the Artsakh-Azerbaijan status and security issues, stressing the importance of Artsakh’s full return to the negotiating process, and pledged to continue Armenia’s efforts toward international recognition of the Armenian Genocide.
Pashinyan’s government, according to the new prime minister, will also work to advance women’s rights in Armenia and work to engage more women in government. He also stressed the importance of the Armenian Diaspora and the significant role it will play in Armenia’s future.