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Minister Oskanian Receives a Congressional Delegation

On April 12, Minister Oskanian received a Congressional delegation led by
Congressman Jim Kolbe (Republican, Arizona), member of the House of
Representatives Committee of Appropriations and Chairman of its Subcommittee
on Foreign Operations, Export Financing and Related Programs, which funds
most US foreign aid programs. Congressman Scott Garrett (Republican, New
Jersey), member of the House Financial Services and Budget Committees, and
member of the Armenian Caucus was also in the delegation. Accompanying the
delegation was Ambassador John Danilovich, Chief Executive Officer for the
Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) who had met with Minister Oskanian in
Washington, DC, just a few weeks ago, during the signing ceremony of the
MCC-Armenia compact .

During the meeting, they exchanged views on the agenda of Armenian-American
relations, specifically implementation of the Compact the Millenium
Challenge Corporation signed with Armenia, creating an office in Yerevan to
this end, developing free economic system and democracy in Armenia, as well
as a number of international and regional issues of mutual interest.

The Minister stated once again Armenia's appreciation of the depth and scope
of US assistance to Armenia, since Armenia's independence. He affirmed that
Armenia is aware that this new assistance program, focused on both economic
and democratic processes, provides Armenia with a special opportunity to
benefit from both the substance of the assistance, as well as its intent.
Congressman Kolbe stated that the US believes that sustained and
transformational economic development can only take place in an open
society, free of corruption, where there is transparency, protection of
property rights and other things necessary to make society work. Both sides
stressed the importance for transparency of the implementation process
within the MCC framework.

The Minister and the congressmen also discussed regional issues, including
Armenia's relations with Iran and with Turkey.

At the guests' request, Minister Oskanian briefed them on the situation in
the Nagorno Karabakh conflict settlement process, following Rambouillet.