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James O'Brien, Assistant Secretary at the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs of the US Department of State, confirms the US assistance provided in various domains within the framework of bilateral relations with Armenia. He announced this in his opening remarks at the capstone meeting of the Armenia-US Strategic Dialogue, in Yerevan Tuesday.

The US assistant secretary of state noted that in recent years, the people of Armenia have repeatedly confirmed their desire for reforms, and the Armenian government, led by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, has taken steps in that direction, which will enable Armenia to integrate into the global economy, giving the people of Armenia the opportunity to express themselves more freely in a democratic environment.

The US is proud to contribute to this effort, and overall, this is a foundation for future work, said O'Brien. According to him, the economy in Armenia has been actively developing in recent years, and this is characteristic of the region in its pace.

The American official added that at the meeting held in Brussels on April 5, broad perspectives of mutual economic cooperation were noted in order to increase Armenia's share in the global economy. Today, the US and Armenia will sign an agreement on the exchange of information in the customs sector, this will facilitate trade and business in the coming years; this is part of the pledges discussed in Brussels, O'Brien added.

According to the US official, the political developments in Armenia reflect the democratic aspirations of its people. The US is happy with the steps taken by the Armenian government, which were partially taken with US assistance. The law is at the forefront by intensifying the fight against corruption and empowering people to express their opinions. They are facilitating all these steps, working both at the government and local level. Considerable work is expected, O'Brien said, adding that the US understands and promotes the three most important areas for Armenia: security, prosperity, and democracy.

The US contributes also to efforts to build lasting peace in the region by expanding economic opportunities from Central Asia to the Mediterranean Sea. In case of lasting peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan, these possibilities will become wider. In this regard, the US is happy to contribute to the effort, said the assistant secretary of state.

He confirmed the willingness of the American side to develop cooperation with Armenia in various domains, from justice to defense. They note with satisfaction the holding of the first joint military exercises last year. In terms of food security, Armenia must solve the issue of meeting its own needs, and the US is ready to help it, O'Brien said.

Cooperation is deeper and stronger than before. It is planned to raise the strategic dialogue to the level of a strategic commission, which will enable even deeper cooperation, as evidenced by the representative participation of the accompanying delegation, noted the US assistant secretary of state.

To note the economic opportunities from Central Asia to the Mediterranean Sea noted by this US official are none other than the Middle Corridor. In the case of Armenia, it is probably about the motorway leading from Turkey to Azerbaijan, through Nakhichevan (Azerbaijan) and Syunik Province of Armenia. Baku and Ankara demand a special status of "Zangezur corridor."

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