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U.S., Armenia Sign Framework Trade Deal

U.S. Assistant Trade Representative Daniel Mullaney (left) and Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian sign a U.S.-Armenian Trade and Investment Framework Agreement in Washington on May 7. Armenian President (second right) was present for the signing.

WASHINGTON -- The United States and Armenia have signed a framework trade deal aimed at boosting bilateral investment and commercial ties.

Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian attended the May 7 signing of the agreement in Washington by his foreign minister, Eduard Nalbandian, and Dan Mullaney, the assistant U.S. trade representative for Europe and the Middle East.

U.S. officials have cited a flawed business environment in Armenia as a barrier to investment in the former Soviet republic, which is a member of the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union.

According to Armenian government data, bilateral trade with the United States totaled $221 million last year, less than 4 percent of Armenia’s foreign trade.

Sarkisian was later to attend a religious service in Washington to commemorate the centennial of mass killings of Armenians in Ottoman Turkey, which Armenia and other countries -- but not the United States -- describe as "genocide."

Turkey objects to the term.

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden was also set to attend the service.

With reporting by RFE/RL’s Armenian Service
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