Prime Minister Pashinyan invites new President of Argentina to pay official visit to Armenia


YEREVAN, NOVEMBER 24, ARMENPRESS. Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has congratulated Javier Milei on his election as President of Argentina.

“My warm congratulations on your election as President of the Republic of Argentina,” Prime Minister Pashinyan said in a letter addressed to President Javier Milei. "I hope that during your tenure, by successfully overcoming all existing challenges, you and your political team will be able to strengthen Argentina’s positions in the international arena, and the Armenian community of Argentina will continue to have its contribution in strengthening the country. Armenia is a reliable partner for Argentina in issues pertaining to human rights, democracy and building free economic relations. I’d like to take this opportunity to invite you to pay an official visit to Armenia at a time of your convenience. I am sure that the warm relations between our countries still have great untapped potential. I am expressing readiness to build a more ambitious agenda through joint work and develop relations with Argentina in all directions of bilateral interest,” Pashinyan said in the letter.

Prime Minister Pashinyan congratulates new PM of Luxembourg on taking office


YEREVAN, NOVEMBER 24, ARMENPRESS. Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has congratulated Luc Frieden on taking office as Prime Minister of Luxembourg.

“My warms congratulations to you on assuming office of Prime Minister of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Your political party’s success is a testament to the trust of the people of Luxembourg towards the ideas you are advocating. I am happy to underscore that Armenia and Luxembourg have excellent relations, displayed by high-level political dialogue and mutual commitment to materialize our efforts in various areas. Armenia’s step to establish a permanent diplomatic representation in Luxembourg is a testament to this. I would also like to express gratitude for the principles, unequivocal and consistent support by your party to Armenia and the Armenian people in difficult times, which attests to our common dedication to democratic values and our commitment to protect them. I am sure that your tenure will strengthen the friendly relations between our countries and the Armenia-European Union partnership. Looking forward to closely working with you,” PM Pashinyan said a letter addressed to Luc Frieden.

Catholicos Aram I makes Pontifical Visits to Eastern Region Communities

His Holiness Catholicos Aram I delivering his message at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral in New York City, November 19, 2023

Over the course of the past two weeks, His Holiness Catholicos Aram I has been traveling and visiting parishes, communities and organizational leaders in Washington, D.C., New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

On Sunday, November 19, Catholicos Aram I presided over the Divine Liturgy at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral in New York, conducted by the Prelate of the Western Prelacy, H.G. Bishop Torkom Donoyan. Prelate of the Eastern Prelacy, H.E. Archbishop Anoushavan Tanielian and Bishop Donoyan delivered heartfelt speeches, which were followed by the pontifical message from His Holiness. In his message, Catholicos Aram focused on the family, describing it as a small church, homeland and school for Armenians.

Throughout his visits, His Holiness has spread messages of love and unity, with a focus on the church and family, emphasizing that the church is a community founded on love. He has also underscored the need to preserve Armenian traditions and engage in Armenian life through the church and organizations.

In addition to the churches, Catholicos Aram paid a visit to the Hovnanian School in New Jersey. He was welcomed by the principal, teachers, parents and students, who presented a program for His Holiness. In his address, Catholicos Aram highlighted the crucial role of Armenian schools in Armenian life and the unique and special role assigned to Armenian schools in preserving the Armenian identity.

Catholicos Aram’s travel to the region is the first of a planned two-part visit, and the second is scheduled for the fall of 2024. The Armenian Weekly will have comprehensive coverage of this year’s pontifical visit forthcoming.

OSCE PA President, Secretary General visit temporary shelter of forcibly displaced persons of Nagorno-Karabakh


YEREVAN, NOVEMBER 18, ARMENPRESS. OSCE Parliamentary Assembly President Pia Kauma and OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Secretary General Roberto Montella, together with Armenia’s Human Rights Defender Anahit Manasyan, have visited a temporary shelter for forcibly displaced persons of Nagorno-Karabakh in Abovyan city, Kotayk Province.

The Kotayk governor and Abovyan mayor accompanied the officials during the trip. The officials inspected the shelter, spoke to the forcibly displaced persons and examined the issues concerning their living conditions, needs assessment and provision of essentials.

The protection of the rights of vulnerable groups, including children, elderly and persons with disabilities was under the spotlight. 

The forcibly displaced persons presented to the visiting officials their sufferings during the Azeri military attack, as well as the preceding blockade of Lachin Corridor, the mass human rights violations, the dangers in terms of life and security in NK and their issues after the forced displacement resulting from the Azeri attack. 

The Ombudsperson’s Office said that Manasyan is regularly visiting the forcibly displaced persons.

‘No one can joke with us’: Azerbaijan parades army in Nagorno-Karabakh

Nov 9 2023

Azerbaijan has paraded its army through the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh. The display comes weeks after Azerbaijan recaptured the enclave, in a lighting-fast offensive which caused 120,000 ethnic Armenians to flee. The regional capital Khankendi, also known as Stepanakert, was left deserted.

Nagorno-Karabakh had been at the centre of a decades-long conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia. At the military parade on Wednesday, Azerbaijan’s president warned Armenia against “revanchist sentiments”, saying that “from now on, jesting with us is ill-advised".

Citi targeted Armenian Americans and treated them like criminals, US regulator alleges (+Links)

Nov 8 2023
New YorkCNN — 

Citibank illegally discriminated against Armenian Americans for years by singling them out on credit card applications based on their surnames, a federal regulator alleged on Wednesday.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found that from at least 2015 through 2021, Citi “targeted” retail services credit card applicants whom employees associated with Armenian national origin.

“Citi treated Armenian Americans as criminals who were likely to commit fraud,” the CFPB alleged.

Citi applied more stringent criteria to suspected Armenian Americans’ applications, including “denying them outright,” placing blocks on the accounts and requiring additional information, according to the regulator.

The CFPB said Citi targeted applicants with last names ending in “-ian” and “-yan” as well as applicants in and around Glendale, California, which is home to a large Armenian American population.

Regulators painted the picture of an orchestrated effort by Citi to conceal the alleged discrimination, including by allegedly falsifying documents.

Citi is a major issuer of store credit cards, including retail cards for Home Depot, Best Buy and other chains.

To punish Citi for the alleged discrimination, the CFPB ordered the bank to pay $25.9 million in fines and consumer redress. Those penalties include a $24.5 million fine to the CFPB’s victims relief fund.

“Regrettably, in trying to thwart a well-documented Armenian fraud ring operating in certain parts of California, a few employees took impermissible actions,” Citi spokesperson Karen Kearns said in a statement to CNN. “While we prioritize protecting our bank and our customers from fraud, it is unacceptable to base credit decisions on national origin.”

The Citi spokesperson added that after an internal investigation, the bank took “appropriate actions” against those involved and imposed steps to prevent this from happening again.”We sincerely apologize to any applicant who was evaluated unfairly by the small number of employees who circumvented our fraud detection protocols,” the Citi spokesperson said.

According to the CFPB, Citi supervisors “conspired to hide the discrimination” by telling employees not to discuss these practices in writing or on recorded phone lines.

The bank then “hid” the discrimination by lying to consumers, giving them “false reasons” for credit denials, the CFPB said.

“Citi stereotyped Armenians as prone to crime and fraud,” CFPB Director Rohit Chopra said in a statement. “Citi illegally fabricated documents to cover up its discrimination.”

Under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, it is illegal to intentionally deny credit to groups of people based on national origin.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a frequent critic of big banks, condemned Citibank on Wednesday.

“Citibank’s intentional discrimination against Armenian Americans is illegal, outrageous and just plain wrong,” Warren, a Democrat from Massachusetts, told CNN in a statement. “The CFPB is right to hold the bank accountable.”

Dennis Kelleher, CEO of financial reform advocacy group Better Markets, called the allegations against Citi “stunning” and questioned whether the punishment fits the crime.

“That fine amount is meaningless to Citi,” Kelleher told CNN, noting it amounts to slightly more than 0.1% of the bank’s $20 billion in third-quarter revenue. “Individual bankers, including executives and supervisors, must be personally punished with meaningful fines and barred from working in the industry.”

During a call with reporters on Wednesday, Chopra said the people hurt thought they would be treated fairly by banks.

The CFPB noted that Citi has a history of recently violating consumer financial protection laws. It paid $335 million in 2018 to 1.75 million consumer credit card holders for allegedly violating the Truth in Lending Act. In 2015, Citi paid almost $750 million for “deceptive and unfair practices” linked to overcharging credit card customers.

“Many Armenians have arrived in the US both because of opportunity but also because of physical dangers back home,” Chopra said, noting Armenia was a satellite of the Soviet Union before its collapse. “Those who immigrated to the United States should not be subjected to illegal discrimination on the basis of their national origin.”

“I am concerned about Citi’s longstanding problems when it comes to managing its sprawling lines of businesses. The public has provided Citi with very large bailouts because of its past management failures,” Chopra said. “It is unfair for consumers to continue paying the price.”

Citi CEO Jane Fraser is scheduled to testify before Congress on December 6 as part of the Senate Banking Committee’s big bank oversight hearing.

Links to other sources reporting on the same issue

Travel: Easier visas for UAE tourists means now is the time to discover Armenia’s enchanted wonders

Oct 30 2023

From a Grape Spa to a majestic monastery

UAE: Armenia, a land of breathtaking landscapes, rich history, and warm hospitality, has recently made travel more accessible for UAE adventurers with streamlined visa regulations.

This enchanting country offers an array of unique experiences, including the coveted Grape Spa, making it an ideal destination for intrepid explorers seeking new adventures.

Visa simplification: Armenia has simplified its visa requirements for UAE citizens, making it easier than ever to explore its wonders. UAE passport holders can now enjoy visa-free travel to Armenia for up to 180 days within a year. This change aims to encourage cultural exchange, tourism, and deeper connections between the two nations.

A visit to a Grape Spa: Nestled in the heart of the picturesque Ararat Valley, Armenia's hidden gem, the Grape Spa, offers a serene environment for indulging in grape-based treatments. With Armenia's wine culture dating back thousands of years, the Grape Spa celebrates this heritage by offering therapeutic treatments such as vinotherapy baths, grape seed facials, and massages using local grape oils. It's a truly rejuvenating experience that seamlessly combines wellness with the country's rich viticultural traditions.

Historical treasures: Armenia boasts a rich cultural heritage, with ancient monasteries, churches, and historical sites waiting to be explored. Marvel at the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Geghard Monastery, take in awe-inspiring vistas from the Tatev Wings cable car, or stroll through the charming streets of Yerevan, one of the world's oldest continuously inhabited cities. Every corner of Armenia tells a captivating story that fuels the imagination.

Scenic landscapes: The diverse landscapes of Armenia cater to every nature enthusiast. From the serene waters of Lake Sevan, known as the "Jewel of Armenia," to the stunning peaks of the Armenian highlands, the country is a paradise for hikers, adventurers, and those seeking tranquility in nature.

Warm hospitality: Armenia's well-deserved reputation for warm hospitality welcomes visitors with open arms, treating them like family and fostering unforgettable memories and connections with the local culture.

As Armenia opens its doors to UAE tourists, there has never been a better time to explore this gem of the Caucasus. From the convenience of new visa rules to rejuvenating your mind and body with the power of grapes, Armenia is a unique destination just waiting to be discovered.

About Armenia Travel

Armenia Travel is the official tourism website of Armenia and is managed by the Tourism Committee of the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Armenia. Their mission is to help guests explore its hidden corners, discover what is yet undiscovered, and create great memories.

Visitors can find all the essential travel information, from obtaining Armenian visa to other useful information about Armenia.


For media enquiries, please contact:
Paul Estorffe 
Black Watch Communications
[email protected]

Israel offered Hamas a ceasefire in exchange for hostages– Al Arabiya


YEREVAN, OCTOBER 27, ARMENPRESS. Israel offered the Hamas movement a ceasefire in exchange for the release of all hostages and the release of the bodies of dead citizens of the Jewish state from Gaza, Al Arabiya reports with reference to sources.

According to sources, Israel and Hamas, with the mediation of Qatar and Egypt, are negotiating the release of the hostages.

“Israel offered a ceasefire in exchange for the release of all hostages and the transfer of the bodies of the dead Israelis”the message says.

It is emphasized that Hamas rejected this proposal from the Israeli side and also demanded the release of Palestinian prisoners.

In addition, it is reported that Hamas asked for a long-term truce, but representatives of the Jewish state refused to respond to this proposal.

Armenia’s Silicon Valley seeks Indian partnership

The Economic Times, India
Oct 27 2023
  YEREVAN (Armenia): Armenia's IT industry has been experiencing tremendous
growth and development and local startups including firms dealing with
ArtificialIntelligence are seeking active partnerships with Indian counterparts
and open chapters in South Asia’s biggest market. 
Armenia has emerged as an attractive destination for technology companies and
startups, thanks to its favorable business environment, skilled workforce and
supportive government initiatives, local industry experts told ET. 
Armenia is home to some of the most industry disrupting startups in the medical crypto, AI, and design fields. With a
large pool of tech talent and a history of noteworthy astrophysicists and chess grandmasters, it is no surprise that there
are so many successful innovative tech startups. 
With a strong connection with the Silicon Valley through the strong Armenian diaspora, the Armenian IT industry is
building connections with India’s Silicon Valley in Bangalore, besides Hyderabad and Delhi-NCR region. 
Dr Yervant Zorian, an Armenian by birth and Chief Architect of Synopsys that designs chips, told ET that Synopsys has a
sizable presence in India including Bangalore and Noida. Zorian has been a frequent traveler across Indian cities. 
Dr Zorian recalled that Armenian success in the IT industry and solutions had its genesis during the Soviet period and
could have been described as the Soviet Union’s Silicon Valley. Later post-independence Armenian diaspora in the Silicon Valley in the USA was quick to set up connections in Armenia establishing chapters here. 
Synopsys Armenia provides R&D and product support for electronic design automation, design for manufacturing, and
semiconductor intellectual property solutions.
“Can machine learning solve the issue of background noise?” 
This question is what led Davit Baghdasaryan to quit Twillo
and partner up with Arto to start Krisp in 2017 to enable people to be more effective communicators in online calls.
Krisp is an AI startup that removes background noise from conference calls. 
It’s based in Armenia and has created a one of-a-kind noise cancelling app. It has attracted attention from the tech world for its innovation, recording significant
success and growth in a very short time
Krisp provides Noise Cancellation, Voice Cancellation, Echo Cancellation, and more to individuals and businesses,
helping them to be heard clearer during online meetings in an increasingly remote world. 
With just a press of a button, millions of people around the world can now enjoy calls, crystal clear.
Krisp is keen to expand its presence in India from currently one staff and is in talks with other partners including in the
Space Tech sector, Davit told ET. 
Armenia is soon launching its first satellite. Earlier this year when the Armenian NSA
visited New Delhi he sought India’s support in the space sector.
Besides AI based solutions and IT industry, Armenia has an emerging Venture Capitalist ecosystem. 
SmartGate VC is one
such firm. 
Ashot Arzumanyan, a partner in SmartGate VC explained how they are funding various ventures including
Krisp and seeking to explore the Indian market.
With more capital flowing into Armenia, more and more startups are reaching success. Armenia is no longer just an
outsourcing hotspot but a center of innovation in the global market. 
There are many top name companies that have
branches in Armenia but more and more entrepreneurs are opening their own startups to provide solutions for their
respective markets.