Armenia’s Diplomatic Corps Marks 10th Year

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–President Robert Kocharian held an annual meeting with the representatives of Embassies and Consulates of Armenia in foreign countries as well as with representatives of many international organizations–on November 2.

The President issued a decree on September 20 awarding–Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian–Ambassador to France–the Vatican and Israel Edward Nalbandian–and Ambassador to Belgium–Holland and Luxembourg Viken Chitechian with a Mkhitar Gosh medal for their diplomatic services.

On November 2–the president presented the high state awards to the diplomats. Oskanian says he considers the award to be a symbol of the President’s appreciation of the activities of the entire foreign relations system. "I consider this to be our common success and I am convinced that together we can achieve many new successes," the foreign minister said.

President Kocharian said that the award is for the entire system–especially for the people whose consistent and effective work proved that the diplomatic service has reached its fruition in Armenia. The president said that the diplomatic service of Armenia which was established together with the birth of Armenia’s independence–also celebrates its tenth anniversary.

Regarding the second annual meeting of diplomats Kocharian said–"I believe this is a valuable tradition–since only by visiting Armenia and keeping correspondence with each other–as well as with the heads of different structures in Armenia–is it possible to have a comprehensive idea of the situation in the country." According to Kocharian–the success of last year’s meeting proved the effectiveness of such meetings.

The president said the he has been especially busy this year–pointing out the official visits of seven countries’ presidents to Armenia–the president said that the eighth is expected to visit in November.

He also pointed out the visit of the presidents of the Collective Security Treaty member-countries–the numerous official and state visits of the Armenian president and said that this year was especially intense. Kocharian said next year will be an equally busy year. However–Kocharian is confident that this degree of work will be maintained because of the dedication of the foreign diplomats and all others working in Armenia’s international relations field. "Our activity will help prove that Armenia has been the best-organized and most stable country in the region," the president stated.

Kocharian provided the diplomats with detailed information on the political and economic situation of the country–as well as on the economic development programs. He said that the situation is stable in the country and he can see no reason or source for destabilization. The president pinned a great significance on adopting a law on diplomatic service which regulates the system and establishes a clear criteria for the diplomatic service to protect the system from various interventions.

Prime Minister of Armenia Andranik Margarian was also present at the meeting. The premier congratulated everybody on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the foundation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia–and Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian–Ambassadors Eduard Nalbandian and Viken Chitechian for receiving the awards for their dedicated service.

Margarian wished the diplomats success in their work–and emphasized their great contributions to raising Armenia’s image and representing Armenia to the rest of the world.

The premier also stressed the need for diplomats’ active participation in the work of economic non-governmental commissions.

Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian and the diplomats attending the meeting expressed their gratitude to the prime minister and the government for their special attention to the work of embassies and for the regular financing–which has never been so well organized.

Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian outlined the issues to be discussed at the meeting. He said this year’s meeting was especially significant because of the September 11 attacks.

The Karabakh settlement as well as the Armenia-Diaspora relations and other important foreign relations issue were discussed at the meeting.

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