Armenia Looks to Boost Ties With Israel

President Serzh Sarkisian meets with Israeli representative.

YEREVAN—President Serzh Sarkisian called for the deepening of Armenia’s low-key relationship with Israel as he met with a visiting senior Israeli official on Tuesday.

Micha Lindenstrauss, Israel’s State Comptroller and Ombudsman, was in Yerevan at the invitation of Armenia’s Parliamentary Human Rights Defender and Ombudsman, Armen Harutyunyan.

According to the presidential press office, Sarkisian told Lindenstrauss that he finds, “the development of multi-faceted relations with Israel in all spheres of mutual interest,” to be important.

“The Head of State welcomed cooperation established between Armenia’s Office of the Human Rights Defender and the Israeli Ombudsman’s Office and stressed the importance of their ongoing efforts aimed at the exchange of experience,” read a short statement released by the office. It gave no further details of the meeting.

Lindenstrauss arrived in Armenia less than a month after he and Harutyunyan attended a session of the Mediterranean Association of Ombudsmen uniting top human rights officials from the wider region. The Armenian ombudsman was elected a member of the association at the meeting held in Madrid.

Like other participants, Harutyunyan opposed a Turkish official’s proposal to condemn Israel’s blockade of Gaza and harsh reaction to the recent Turkish-backed attempt to break it. He argued, among other things, that Turkey itself maintains a similar economic blockade of Armenia, which was imposed in 1993 out of solidarity with Azerbaijan.

Lindenstrauss, whose principal function is to monitor the legality and efficiency of decisions taken by Israeli public institutions, is a rare high-ranking representative of the Jewish state to visit Armenia. Armenian leaders have also rarely visited Israel.

Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian was scheduled to pay an unofficial visit to Jerusalem together with His Holiness Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians, in mid-February. However, the trip was cancelled at the last minute, ostensibly because of Sarkisian’s illness.

The Armenian premier told the Israeli ambassador to Armenia, Shemi Tzur, afterwards that Yerevan is interested in, “broadening and deepening,” Armenian-Israeli ties.

Although Armenia and Israel have diplomatic relations, neither maintains an embassy in the other country. The Israeli ambassador to Armenia is based in Tbilisi, while Armenia’s interests in Israel are represented by its ambassador to France.

Successive Armenian and Israeli governments treaded carefully in developing bilateral relations. Armenia has traditionally had warm relations with Arab states and neighboring Iran, while Israel has until recently had close political and military ties with Armenia’s arch-foe Turkey.

Analysts believe that the dramatic worsening of Turkish-Israeli relations could change Yerevan’s and Tel Aviv’s geopolitical priorities. In particular, Jewish lobby groups in the United States are expected to stop helping Ankara defeat draft resolutions in the U.S. Congress recognizing the 1915 mass killings of Armenians in Ottoman Turkey as genocide. Israel’s parliament is expected to debate a similar resolution soon.

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11 Comments

  1. zohrab said:

    yes i like to see armenia get very close ties with israel . i remember during the earthquake they took armenian children to israel to help them recover and some had lims added to arms or legs so they are good people lets make friends

  2. Ash said:

    They could give a shit about Hayastan and relations.
    If we can make money off of them through trade, very cool. Short of that they won;t do anything for us, if anything they have been an obstacle for Armenians

  3. Arn.Sweden. said:

    YES !!! –
    ALTHOUGH ARMENIA AND ISRAEL IN THE FUTURE MAY STAND IN DIFFERENT POLITICAL-MILITARY CAMPS,
    BECAUSE ARMENIAS CONTROVERSY WITH TURKS AND HER FUTURE ALIANCE WITH RUSSIA,
    (KURDISRAN AND IRAN AGAINST THE TURKS),
    THERE SHOULD BE NO CONTROVERSY WITH ISRAEL.

    ISRAEL IS ACCORDING TO THE BIBLE A BIG FUTURE MILITARY VICTOR IN THIS REGION,
    AND THE CHOSEN PEOPLE OF GOD,
    AND IT WOULD BENEFIT ARMENIA TO STAY IN GOD CONTACT WITH ISRAEL.

    MAY GOD BLESS ARMENIA IN THIS PATH !!!.

    Arn.

    • sebouh from australia said:

      Now all it has to do is be decent and admit the Armenian genocide

  4. Zareh said:

    I don’t know in what world armenians leave. You guys ought to do some reality check.Serge asks better lelations with Israel, like what? Israel makes money from conflicts, their security and weapon industry is thrieving. That’s what they sell. So what do you want, they do good business with azeris, you guys wanna buy military staff too, show em some green.
    Armenia might well call the Israeli expertise in for constructing a high-end separation wall around karabach. That’s one thing they could do.

    • Ash said:

      or potentially learn certain tactics in training from the IDF?
      Armenia apparently is now manufacturing drones, as does israel so there is no benefit to either nation on that end.

  5. Gagik said:

    Other than the Israeli lobby in America, Armenia has no use for Israel. It can’t be trusted and it is a dangerous ally to have. This is a good time to take advantage of the bad relations between Israel and Tureky but not by the Armenian government but by the Armenian lobby in US and Israel.

  6. Alexander said:

    Israelis have lots of sympathy for Armenians, as another nation being a victim of tough neighborhood. That feeling is especially strong among Jews who emigrated from the FSU. Turks or no Turks, Armenia and Israel have many reasons to be friends and no reasons to be enemies.

  7. Pingback: Azerbaijan supports Pakistan on Kashmir - Page 10

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