Azerbaijani Press: Washington punishes Armenia for Syria

AzerNews, Azerbaijan
Feb 21 2019

By Abdul Kerimkhanov

Relations between the U.S. and Armenia have sharply become colder. Washington cancelled the planned visit of Zohrab Mnatsakanyan to the United States, towards which the Armenian side had been working for a long time.

Recently, National Security Advisor to President John Bolton and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan had a telephone conversation. During the conversation, Bolton asked if the decision to send a mission to Syria was final and inevitable, and received a positive response.

Although the Armenian Foreign Ministry is trying to alleviate the situation and in particular to receive an invitation from U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to meet with Mnatsakanyan, but still without result.

It is not excluded that Armenia will seek the help of lobbyists for the organization of this visit. The Armenian ambassador in Washington is not in a very good position as well.

The United States has repeatedly warned Yerevan against the need to stay away from Russian force missions. Armenia's former President Serzh Sargsyan perceived these warnings quite realistically and therefore did not succumb to the pressure of Moscow, which demanded that Armenia join its mission in Syria.

Nikol Pashinyan, because of inexperience and arrogance, sent to Syria a group of 83 so-called 'specialists'. After this decision, the Russian media restored its negative attacks against Azerbaijan.

However, this is nothing more than a pyrrhic victory.

It was clear from the statement of the State Department that the United States was very unhappy with the dispatch by Yerevan of Armenian troops to Syrian Aleppo. Since the summer of 2018, the American side made it clear at different levels to the Armenian side that its appearance in Syria as part of the Russian mission is unacceptable.

Even the fact that Pashinyan’s meeting with Donald Trump, which had been prepared for several months, did not take place just in the light of these discussions, the Armenian PM tried to ignore, counting on his “revolutionary” charm.

A group of Armenian specialists in humanitarian demining, medical personnel and ensuring the safety of the specialists themselves, arrived in the Syrian city of Aleppo to provide humanitarian specialized assistance to the Syrian people on February 8.

Sending humanitarian contingent to Syria was announced in September 2018. PM Pashinyan called the humanitarian operation in Syria an Armenian-Russian humanitarian project unprecedented in scale.

The U.S. Embassy in Armenia issued a statement in which the U.S. State Department expressed its position on the Armenian humanitarian mission in Syria on February 13. Washington did not support any interaction with the Syrian Armed Forces, regardless of whether it is about providing assistance to civilians or is of a military nature.

The Foreign Ministry of Armenia responded to the statement of the State Department, stating that after a relative truce and establishment of security, Armenia intends to continue its contribution to the humanitarian mission.

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