Armenia’s UK-Based Former Prime Minster Looking to Be ‘Useful’ for Homeland

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)–Armenia’s London-based former prime minister, who recently co-organized with a British royal a major fundraiser to help rebuild several historical and architectural cites in his native city Yerevan, has voiced a strong desire to be ‘useful’ for his homeland. But Armen Sarkissian, who briefly headed the Armenian government in 1996-1997, stresses he has no interest in engaging in politics back in Armenia.

“I believe that one can be useful for his country not only through political participation or party affiliation, by being in power or in opposition. I think that one can avoid all this and still help his homeland simply by focusing on the main areas where he can make a small contribution,” Sarkissian said in an exclusive interview with RFE/RL.

At present Sarkissian, 56, lives in the United Kingdom and is known for his activities as businessman and an expert in energy security. He is a senior member of energy and economic forums and is the founding president of Eurasia House International in London.

A charity event as part of the “Yerevan My Love” project initiated by Prince Charles and Sarkissian took place in Windsor Palace on February 10, with visiting President of Armenia Serzh Sarkisian (no relation to the ex-premier) attending the reception. The project is dedicated to preserving architecturally significant buildings in Yerevan and putting them to use to improve the life experience of disabled children, young people and disadvantaged families. Its first beneficiaries are four structures of historic and architectural value in the center of Yerevan, which will serve as social centers for vulnerable groups and gifted children under the auspices of the Holy See of Etchmiadzin. The February 10 reception hosted by Prince Charles was also attended by many Diaspora Armenians, who had specially arrived in London from different countries for the occasion.

“I also hope that it will grow into a sort of cultural movement in which, of course, there should be no political or partisan presence – this is just an attitude towards the city,” said Sarkissian. “My friendship with Prince Charles led us to a very natural idea to have a night to serve several purposes, first Armenian-British friendship, then gathering friends from different corners of the world who share our ideas or attitude, and for us it was also a means to launch the project.”

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2 Comments

  1. Grish Begian said:

    Good for Armenia and good for Armenians….we need more individuals like Mr. Armen Sarkissian, he is promoting Armenia in UK…we should appreciate to those worthy Armenians indeed. people like Armen will make our homeland safe and strong…

  2. JC777 said:

    Armen Sarkissian is not that simple as he he wants the broader audience to believe. There are speculations that this individual might have been recruited by the British during his years as a professor at the Yerevan State University. He then suddenly appeared in London as Armenia’s ambassador and then brought back to Yerevan to serve as prime minister. Diceased Vazgen Sarkissian (defense minister at the time) might have known this and he vehemently opposed Armen’s British influence forcing him to resign in 1997 and leave for his ‘home-base’ on England. Remembering the fact that the royal family is a part of 300 or so families who tend to secretly rule the world, it looks thought-provoking that Armen stands closed to them. Readers, please dont take everything at its face value. Things run much deeper in this disgusting world order…

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