YEREVAN, February 26. /ARKA/. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry congratulated President-elect Serzh Sargsyan on re-election, the presidential press service reported.
“The February 18 presidential elections built on the foundation of the parliamentary elections in 2012, and I am pleased that the media provided balanced coverage of the campaign”, the message says.
Kerry said he agreed with the OSCE/ODIHR preliminary findings that the elections were generally “well-administered and characterized by a respect for fundamental freedoms, but there is work that remains to be done”.
“Moving forward, I hope Armenia will continue to increase transparency, promote multiple viewpoints in the mainstream media, and encourage citizens’ active participation in reforms and governance, as well as address the outstanding electoral issues raised by the OSCE”, Kerry said.
The US Secretary of State expressed hope that during Sargsyan’s second term the US and Armenia will work together “to pursue the democratic and economic reforms critical to increased bilateral trade and investment”.
Kerry said he remained committed to helping Armenia find a peaceful solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and asked the Armenian president-elect to continue to give the Minsk Group Co-Chairs his full support.
“We cannot be satisfied with the status quo: we must seize this moment to pursue meaningful progress in the peace process. I look forward to working with you and the people of Armenia to build on the longstanding ties and historic friendship between our countries”, US Secretary of State said in his message.
According to the official final outcome of the February 18 presidential vote, Serzh Sargsyan won re-election with 861,373 votes or 58.64%. His main opposition challenger second-placed Raffi Hovannisian polled 36.74% or 539,693 votes. -0-