Foreign relations of Armenia

Foreign relations of Armenia

Armenia maintains good relations with almost every country in the world, the major exceptions being two of its immediate neighbors, Turkey and Azerbaijan. Armenia is a member of more than 40 different international organizations including the United Nations, the Council of Europe, the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, NATO's Partnership for Peace, the North Atlantic Cooperation Council, the International Monetary Fund, and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the World Trade Organization. It is also an observer member of the Eurasian Economic Community, La Francophonie, and the Non-Aligned Movement. Eduard Nalbandyan currently serves as Minister of Foreign Affairs.

International organization participation

ACCT (observer), ADB, BSEC, CE, CIS, Council of Europe, EAPC, EBRD, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt (signatory), ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITU, La Francophonie (observer), MIGA, NAM (observer), OAS (observer), OIF (observer), OPCW, OSCE, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO.

Countries with diplomatic relations

Armenia has currently diplomatic relations with over 80 countries. [] , [] , [] , [] , [] , [] , [] , [] , [] , [] [] . These include: Albania, Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Benin, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chad, Chile, the People's Republic of China, Cote d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, East Timor, Equatorial Guinea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, North Korea, South Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Libya, Malta, Mauritania, Mexico, Moldova, Montenegro, Norway, Netherlands, Order of Malta, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Seychelles, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Uruguay, Vatican City and Vietnam.

Commonwealth of Independent States


During the Soviet period, many Armenians and Azeris lived together peacefully. However, when Mikhail Gorbachev introduced the policies of Glasnost and Perestroika, the majority Armenians from the autonomous area of Nagorno-Karabakh in the Azerbaijan SSR began a peaceful and democratic movement to unify with the Armenian SSR. In 1988, the Armenians of Karabakh voted to secede and join Armenia. The reaction was strong and violent from Azerbaijan and tensions continued to escalate to observe the cease-fire which has been in effect since May 1994, and in late 1995 both also agreed to OSCE field gis of the Minsk Group of the OSCE. The Minsk Group is currently co-chaired by the U.S., France, and Russia and comprises Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkey, and several western European nations.


Armenians and Georgians have a lot in common. Both are ancient Christian civilizations with their own distinct alphabets. Both use the terms "Apostolic" and "Orthodox" in the full titles of their respective churches. They also use the term "Catholicos" to refer to their church patriarchs. Despite all this, however, Armenians and Georgians have tended to have a tenuous relationship (at times, sharing close bonds while at other times regarding each other as rivals).

Today, relations with Georgia are of particular importance for Armenia because, under the economic blockade imposed by Turkey and Azerbaijan due to the ongoing Karabakh conflict, Georgia offers Armenia its only land connection with Europe and access to its Black Sea ports. However, because of Armenia's reliance on Russia from whose grip Georgia is attempting to free itself, relations have been especially tentative lately. The development of close relations between Turkey and Georgia (such as the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline and South Caucasus natural gas pipeline) have also weighed on the mutual relations and lead to the prevention of the country recognizing the Armenian Genocide. On occasion, however, Georgian politicians have sympathized with the Armenian cause. For example, on March 20, 2006, Georgian Ambassador to Armenia Revaz Gachechiladze stated, "We sympathize with the sister nation but taking decisions of the kind we should take into account the international situation. When the time comes Georgia will do everything within the limits of the possible for the recognition of the Armenian Genocide by the international community including Georgia." [ [ PanARMENIAN.Net - "When Time Comes Georgia Will Do Its Best for Armenian Genocide Recognition" - 20 March 2006] ] However, Armenian-Georgian relations have begun to improve. On May 10, 2006, Armenia and Georgia agreed on the greater part of the lines of the state border between the two countries. [ [ Armenia, Georgia Agree On Greater Part of Border Lines] ] . The Javakheti region in southern Georgia contains a large Armenian population and although there have been local civic organizations (such as United Javakhk) pushing for autonomy, there has been no violence between Armenians and Georgians in the area.


Armenia's most notable recent foreign policy success came with the August 29 treaty with Russia on friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance, in which Moscow committed itself to the defense of Armenia should it be attacked by a third party. Russia is the key regional security player, and has proved a valuable historical ally for Armenia. Although it appeared as a response to Aliyev's US trip, the treaty had probably long been under development. However, it is clear from the wider context of Armenian foreign policy that -- while Yerevan welcomes the Russian security guarantee -- the country does not want to rely exclusively on Moscow, nor to become part of a confrontation between Russian and US-led alliances in the Transcaucasus.


European Union




Armenia and Greece share a strong historical and cultural bond. Both peoples fell under Ottoman rule for long years. Furthermore, the ancient Kingdom of Armenia exemplied the ideal Hellenistic civilization during its existence. During the Nagorno-Karabakh War, Greece did not aid Armenia militarily but supplied them with economic resources that would prove to be vital to the war effort.


Middle East


Despite religious and ideological differences, relations between Armenia and the Islamic Republic of Iran remain cordial and both Armenia and Iran are strategic partners in the region. Armenia and Iran enjoy cultural and historical ties that go back thousands of years. There are no border disputes between the two countries and the Christian Armenian minority in Iran enjoys official recognition. Of special importance is the cooperation in the field of energy security which lowers Armenia's dependence on Russia and can in the future also supply Iranian gas to Europe through Georgia and the Black Sea.


Since independence, Armenia has received support from Israel and today remains one of its major trade partners. While both countries have diplomatic relations, neither maintains an embassy in the other country. Instead, Ehude Moshe Eytam, the Israeli ambassador to Armenia is based in Tbilisi, Georgia, and visits Yerevan twice a month. Israel has recognized 10 Armenians as Righteous Among the Nations for risking their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust, but does not recognize the Armenian Genocide because of its relations with Turkey, which is one of the few countries in the Middle East that recognizes Israel's right to exist. [ [ Advocates on Behalf of Jews in Russia, Ukraine, the Baltic States, and Eurasia: Armenia and Jews] ]



Turkey was one of the first countries to recognize Armenia's independence in 1991. Despite this, for most of the 20th century and early 21st century, relations between the two countries remain tense for numerous reasons. Some bones of contention include the unresolved Karabakh conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan (which has resulted in Turkey imposing a blockade on Armenia that is still in effect today), the treatment of Armenians in Turkey, the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline, and the Armenian claim of Turkey's holding of historic Armenian lands (ceded to them in the Treaty of Kars, a treaty which Armenia refuses to recognize to this day since it was signed between the Soviet Union and Turkey, and not between Armenia and Turkey proper). At the forefront of all disputes, however, is the issue surrounding the Armenian Genocide. The killing and deportation of between one and one-and-a-half million Armenians from eastern Anatolian lands of the Ottoman Empire orchestrated by the Young Turks is a taboo subject in Turkey itself as the Turkish government refuses to acknowledge that a genocide ever happened. However, since Turkey has become a candidate to join the European Union, limited discussion of the event is now taking place in Turkey. Some in the European Parliament have even suggested that one of the provisions for Turkey to join the E.U. should be the full recognition of the event as genocide, although this has yet to happen.

On June 5, 2005, Armenian President Robert Kocharian announced that he was ready to "continue dialogue with Azerbaijan for the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and with Turkey on establishing relations without any preconditions." [ [ Yerevan Ready to Continue Dialogue with Baku for Karabakh Settlement] ] Armenia has also stated that as a legal successor to the Armenian SSR, it is loyal to the Treaty of Kars and all agreements inherited by the former Soviet Armenian government. [cite news
title = In Vartan Oskanian's Words, Turkey Casts Doubt On The Treaty Of Kars With Its Actions
publisher = All Armenian Mass Media Association
date = 2006-12-13
url =
accessdate = 2006-12-13
] Yet Turkey continues to lay preconditions on relations, insisting that Armenia abandon its efforts to have the Genocide recognized, which official Yerevan is not willing to do.

In the wake of the 2008 South Ossetia war] between Russia and Georgia, Armenia and Turkey have shown signs of an inclination to reconsider their relationship. According to The Economist magazine, 70% of Armenia's imports enter via Georgia. Because of the apparently belligerent posture of the Russian state, economic ties with Turkey appear especially attractive. [Turkey and Armenia; Friends and Neighbors, rising hopes of better relations between two historic enemies, The Economist, September 27, 2008, p. 67]



Despite ethnic and religious differences, Armenia and Sudan for the most part, have enjoyed generally warm and close relations; however relations between the two countries are minorly tarnished because of two issues. The first is Armenia's strong economic and political relationship with Israel, the second is Sudan's refusal to recognize the Armenian Genocide, owing to solidarity with Turkey. Sudan and Armenia also share a history of immigration, seeing as Africa's largest country used to have a sizeable Armenian community ("see:"Armenian Diaspora column: Sudan), but now the community numbers only 1,000.


The first Armenians migrated to Australia in the 1850s, during the gold rush. The majority came to Australia in the 1960s, starting with the Armenians of Egypt after Nasser came to power then, in the early 1970s, from Cyprus after the Turkish occupation of the island and from 1975 until 1992, a period of civil unrest in Lebanon. Person-to person governmental links are increasing although they are still modest. In September 2003, The Hon Mr Philip Ruddock MP visited Armenia in his former capacity as Australian Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs. In October 2005, the Armenian Foreign Minister, H.E. Mr Vardan Oskanyan, visited Australia. In November 2005, The Hon Mr Joe Hockey MP, Minister for Human Services, visited Armenia.Till today the Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia refuses to recognise the mass murder of Armenians in 1915 as Genocide, although the State of N.S.W passed a law recognising this several years earlier. The Australian Government elections due to take place late 2007, have created an atmosphere in which the Opposition Labor party has declared it will push for the Recognition of the Armenian Genocide in Australian Parliament if Labor wins the Elections.

United States

Armenian Genocide recognition

Armenia has been joined by many nations, in demanding recognition of the Armenian Genocide. Countries that officially recognize the Armenian genocide include Argentina, Armenia, Australia State of N.S.W, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Cyprus, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Lebanon, Lithuania, The Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Switzerland, Uruguay, Vatican City and Venezuela. Although part of the United Kingdom, Wales also officially recognizes the Armenian Genocide. US House Resolution 106 was introduced on January 30 2007 later referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. The bill currently has 225 co-sponsors [] . The bill calls for President George W. Bush to recognize and use the word genocide in his annual April 24 speech which he has not yet used.




ee also

* Armenian diplomatic missions
* List of diplomatic missions in Armenia
* Foreign relations of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic
* Accession of Turkey to the European Union
* Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline
* Khachkar destruction in Nakhchivan

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