Armenia US Sign Agreement on Protection of Cultural Heritage

WASHINGTON–DC–An important cultural agreement was signed on Tuesday between the United States and Armenia. The agreement provides that the cultural heritage of all national–religious–or ethnic groups residing and having resided in both countries will be safeguarded.

Armenia’s Ambassador to the US Dr. Arman Kirakossian–and Chairman of US Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad Warren L. Miller–signed the Agreement on Protection and Preservation of Certain Cultural Properties.

The signing ceremony took place at the State Department–in the presence of Undersecretary of State Marc Grossman–as well as officials from State Department and Embassy of Armenia.

The Agreement commits both parties to protecting and preserving the cultural heritage of any ethnic group residing on their territory–or against the nationals of the other Party in its laws concerning the protection and preservation of their cultural heritage; the right to contribute to the protection and preservation of their cultural heritage; and public access to such heritage–including places of worship–sites of historical significance–monumen’s–cemeteries and memorials to the dead–as well as archival materials.

The Agreement also stipulates that "each Party shall take special steps to ensure such protection and preservation of cultural heritage within its territory and shall invite the cooperation of the other Party and its nationals where assistance is required for this purpose."

Speaking at the ceremony–Undersecretary Grossman and Chairman Miller hailed the agreement as another bridge linking the peoples of the United States and Armenia. In his remarks during the ceremony–Ambassador Kirakossian said the agreement is the first such treaty regulating cultural affairs between the two countries–augmenting already strong cooperation on economic–political–and security areas. Ambassador Kirakossian summed up the significance of the agreement for Armenia’saying–"we understand the value of cultural heritage and the importance of its protection and preservation."

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