‘The US ambassador said that she will try to raise the prisoners issue as a co-chair nation’: Activist

The US Embassy in Armenia shared a statement on its Facebook page about how the ambassador held discussions with representatives of NGOs, displaced persons from Nagorno-Karabakh, and Armenian circles involved in providing humanitarian assistance about the impact of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and the ceasefire agreement. “The ambassador stressed the U.S. commitment to promoting strong bilateral ties with Armenia based on shared values and interests and our commitment to engaging in support of a lasting political solution to the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh.”

In an interview with Aravot Daily, a participant in the meeting and the director of the Helsinki Association NGO, Nina Karapetyants, provided some details. “The meeting was organized at the request of women and children from Hadrut. As we know, they carried out protests near embassies and international agencies. The US ambassador offered to hold a meeting with these women, but the meeting was postponed due to the fact that one of the women had the coronavirus. The women from Hadrut voiced their problems and the situation they’ve faced over the past thirty years and at the moment. As a priority, though, the women from Hadrut voiced the issue of Armenian prisoners. They mostly spoke about the prisoners as the main problem.”

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She continued, “I, as a representative of an activist organization, presented a part of our work towards gathering information in Artsakh and Armenia. We must note that there are several limitations in diplomacy, and the embassy was unable to say everything that they thought. But it was a very open discussion. Those present were able to understand one another, and they were able to exchange what was needed. They responded that they are also concerned about the situation, and they believe that there is a big humanitarian issue. They are prepared to support us. They did not clarify to what level, but they will try to provide humanitarian assistance. They will try to raise the prisoners issue as a co-chair nation.

As far as what solutions there will be, no one is able to provide any guarantees because there are many sides and the interests do not always coincide. That is what our discussion was about so that we could present the situation to the ambassador. Just like the French ambassador to Armenia, the US ambassador also said that the embassy’s doors are open to the participants for meetings and cooperation. I believe that we will meet with the ambassador again, but this time, with political and social representatives.

I said that we are carrying out very active and invisible work especially with regard to the prisoners. Perhaps we will meet once again in private to understand what possible methods can be used to resolve this problem.”

Luiza Sukiasyan

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