Armenia Eyeing Stronger Ties with Israel, Says PM

YEREVAN (Armenpress)–Armenia is keen on deepening its ties with Israel, Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan said Thursday in talks with the Jewish state’s newly appointed ambassador to Armenia, Shemi Tsuri, the government’s press office reported.

Tsuri, whose government is currently entangled in a diplomatic row with Turkey over Gaza, was presented his credentials in Yerevan Wednesday by Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian. According to the Foreign Ministry press office, Nalbandian told Tsuri he hoped the new ambassador would work toward the expansion of mutually beneficial cooperation between the two countries.

Sargsyan echoed Nalbandian’s hopes during his talks with Tsuri, saying he looked forward to the strengthening and “consolidation” of Armenian-Israeli relations. According to the government’s press office, the two agreed that bilateral relations were entering into a new stage of development with new political and economic relations being established between the two countries.

The two spoke on the prospects of boosting economic relations, with Sargsyan underscoring Israel’s ability to help Armenia reduce the impact of the world financial crisis on the country’s economy.

The Prime Minister asked Tsuri about the February 10 parliamentary elections in Israel, the inter-political situation of the country and developmen’s with the new political leadership of the country.

The two also discussed a resolution to recognize the Armenian Genocide introduced in the Israeli Knesset last year, with Sargsyan asking about the likelihood of its adoption following the elections. His press office provided no details as to Tsuri’s response to the inquiry. The ambassador did, however, thank Armenia for its warm treatment toward its Jewish minority.

Israel’s parliament late last backed down from recognizing the genocide Turkey’s ambassador to Jerusalem warned that the Jewish state’s Recognition of the crime would badly damage the Turkish-Israeli partnership. But Israeli officials and American Jewish organizations, enraged by Turkey’s continuing condemnation of Israel’s attack on Gaza, are now raising the possibility that Jerusalem may retaliate either by recognizing the Armenian Genocide or refusing to help Turkey to lobby against a congressional resolution on the genocide.


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