The United States on Wednesday rejected Azerbaijan's criticism of forthcoming U.S.-EU-Armenia trilateral meeting in Brussels which, it said, is 'purely' about Armenia, TURAN's Washington correspondent reports.

"The focus of this meeting is on economic resilience to help Armenia diversify its trade partnerships and address humanitarian needs. I fail to see why that would be escalatory or would be of a concern to any country in the world," State Department's Spokesperson Matthew Miller told TURAN's Washington correspondent during a daily briefing.

Miller was reacting to his Azeri counterpart Aykhan Hajizade's early statement in which he accused both the EU and the U.S. of "negatively affecting" the peace process, creating new "dividing" lines and urged that they would bear responsibility for Yerevan’s “destabilizing actions.”

"I obviously would not agree with those comments," Miller said.

According to him, both Secretary Blinken and USAID Administrator Samantha Power in Brussels will join a U.S.-EU trilateral meeting with Armenia, together with European Commission President von der Leyen and Armenian Prime Minister Pashinyan, "regarding U.S. and EU support for Armenia’s economic resilience as it works to diversify its trade partnerships and address humanitarian needs."

When asked if the issues with Azerbaijan were expected to come up during the trilateral, the spokesperson said, "I suppose it’s always possible it could come up on the margins of the meeting, in that type of conversation, but that’s not the focus of the meeting.  The meeting in Brussels is to focus on Armenia’s economic resilience as it works to diversify its trade partnerships and address humanitarian needs."

Blinken will travel to Brussels next week to participate in the NATO Foreign Ministers Meeting, which coincides with the 75th anniversary of NATO on April 4th, and have meetings with NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Kuleba, and representatives from other allied nations.

While in Belgium, the Secretary will also stop by Leuven to participate in the 6th U.S.-EU Trade and Technology Council meetings, emphasizing shared dedication to innovation and economic collaboration.  As part of this visit, Blinken will explore the innovative initiatives at imec, a Belgian semiconductor research center.

Before Belgium, Blinken will also visit France on April 1st where he will meet with President Macron in Paris to discuss support for Ukraine, efforts to prevent escalation of the conflict in Gaza, and a number of other important issues, as Miller put it.

When asked by TURAN about the latest media reports regarding the U.S.-France disagreement over Macron's recent comments on sending the Western soldiers to Ukraine, Miller reiterated Washington's position on "not going to send any troops to Ukraine."

"And I should add that, of course, President Macron is the head of a longtime ally of the United States and we work productively with him on a number of matters, including support for Ukraine," he concluded.

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