International Affairs

NEW DELHI, MAY 15, 2000


It gives me great pleasure to accept your credentials as the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Armenia to India. I warmly welcome you to India and extend my felicitations on your appointment to this important position.

India's relations with the Republic of Armenia have traditionally been close, warm and friendly. Our relations stretch back in time. Armenian traders had made India their home some 12 centuries ago. With the passage of time, we saw more Armenians - traders, literary figures and men of culture and arts visit India. We are particularly pleased that the first Armenian journal to be published anywhere, "Azdarar", was brought out in India by the Armenian priest, Shoumyan in Madras in 1794. Since then, institutions dealing with Armenia in the areas of literature, culture and religion had continued to have a base in India. In recent times, the then Prime Minister of India, Smt. Indira Gandhi, visited Yerevan in 1976.

Excellency, Indo-Armenian relations have moved ahead since the recognition of an independent Armenia by India in December 1991. We opened our Resident Mission in Yerevan in March 1999 which was followed by the arrival of our first resident Ambassador in October 1999. Armenia opened its Embassy in New Delhi in October 1999 which has culminated in your arrival as the first resident Ambassador to India. Thus your role and responsibility assumes that added significance.

Our bilateral co-operation today, even though modest, is multi-faceted and covers economic, commercial, scientific, technological and cultural spheres. The visit of the then President Levon Ter-Petrossian in December 1995 was important to impart the necessary momentum to our bilateral relations. The coordinates of our bilateral relations were adumbrated in the Treaty of Friendship and Co-operation which was signed during the 1995 Presidential visit. Since then, there have been other visits from Armenia. We hope to organise visits at Ministerial and other levels from India also during the course of this year.

Excellency, India is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the creation of its Republic and the adoption of its Constitution this year. We remain firmly committed to the principles of democracy and secularism. We are happy to note that the democratic foundations in Armenia have taken firm roots. Our common beliefs in democracy and economic reforms constitute an important pillar in the development of our bilateral co-operation.

The market reforms and the economic restructuring undertaken in Armenia provide ample opportunities for the growth of our bilateral commercial and economic relations, which have institutionalised through the Indo-Armenian Joint Commission. Armenian strength in the computer and electronic systems and India's advancement in the area of Information Technology should allow us to forge co-operation in this sphere and also other newer areas.

Excellency, India's foreign policy has been based on continuity with a commitment to secure its rightful place in the community of nations. Both our countries share a similarity of views on most issues of common international concern today. The challenges we face today are immense. Sustained action is called for from the international community to address the new challenges of international terrorism, religious extremism, drug trafficking and arms trade. Your country has been the tragic victim of senseless acts of terrorism. I am confident that India and Armenia will jointly pursue the objective of confronting the new threats facing humankind in the 21st century so that we leave a world which is safer and more secure for the future generations.

Excellency, we regard you as a good friend of India and as one interested in the cause of strengthening Indo-Armenian relations. I would like to assure you of the full co-operation and support of the Government of India on all issues concerning our bilateral relations. I wish you a very successful and rewarding stay in India and every success in your endeavours to further promote Indo-Armenian friendship. I also take this opportunity to convey through you my best wishes for the continued good health and happiness of His Excellency Mr. Robert Kocharian, President of the Republic of Armenia, and for the progress and prosperity of the friendly people of Armenia.

Thank you

Jai Hind