2 rescued from rubble after Yerevan suburbs blast

 14:11, 5 February 2024

YEREVAN, FEBRUARY 5, ARMENPRESS. Rescue teams have pulled two people alive from the rubble of two houses which collapsed after an explosion in Yerevan’s Erebuni district, Ministry of Internal Affairs spokesperson Narek Sargsyan told reporters. The rescued victims are a man and a woman.

Sargsyan said authorities haven’t yet determined the cause of the explosion.

Multiple search and rescue personnel are working at the scene.

The blast happened Monday morning at 34 Nor Aresh Street in Yerevan.

One of the 2 victims is in serious condition. 

Photos by Hayk Harutyunyan

Turkish Press: Turkey’s last Armenian village stands strong with its women after earthquakes

Turkey – Feb 2 2024
"As a cooperative, one month after the earthquake, on Women's Day, we immersed ourselves in work with the orders that came to us, trying to forget this period. But when they say 'it's being forgotten,' it really isn't being forgotten."

Last year’s earthquakes on February 6 and 20 undoubtedly changed the routines of intra-city travel in Hatay.

Most of the city's roads are in ruins not only because of the earthquakes but also due to the heavy machinery and trucks involved in debris removal. If you are driving from Antakya to Samandağ, you need to be careful along the way. The road, usually two lanes, can suddenly narrow down to one, and construction machinery and trucks can appear any time.

Vakıflı is a small village, approximately 5 kilometers from Samandağ and 25 kilometers from Antakya districts. Nestled at the foot of Mount Musa, overlooking the Mediterranean, it is surrounded by orange, tangerine, lemon, and grapefruit trees, emanating the fragrance of citrus. It is the last Armenian village in Turkey.

Vakıflı is located in southern Hatay. (Wikimedia Commons)

Journalist and author Serdar Korucu, in his 2021 book "Sancak Düştü" (The Sanjak Falls), writes about the Armenians of Mount Musa, once part of the "İskenderun Sanjak" during the Ottoman era:

"Out of the six villages on Mount Musa – Hıdır Bek/Hıdırbey, Yoğunoluk, Kebusiye (now known as Kapısuyu), Hacıhabibli (Eriklikuyu), Bityas (Batıayaz), Vakıf (Vakıflı) – many Armenians 'preferred' leaving Hatay. The ones who stayed gathered in Vakıflı, affectionately termed by the media as Turkey's 'only Armenian village' (actually the 'last Armenian village'). These migrations were not limited to Mount Musa. In 1936, the Armenian population, constituting 11% of the Sanjak's population, dwindled to a symbolic number."

While the earthquakes on February 6 did not cause destruction in the village of about 35 households and 135 residents, the earthquakes centered around Defne and Samandağ in the Hatay-centered quake on February 20 resulted in nearly half of the church and houses being either damaged or collapsed. The heavy rainfall the day before filled small potholes on the damaged village roads with water, making our journey to Vakıflı a bit challenging.

Vakıflı is a special case for women. The women's cooperative, established long before February 6, re-engaged in regional production activities shortly after the earthquake. We visited Vakıflı to see the women's production workshops and discuss the period before and after February 6.

After the collapse of its bell tower and damage in its walls, Surp Asdvadzadzin Church will undergo restoration.

We call Kuhar Kartun when we arrive at the Vakıfköy Patriarch Mesrob II Cultural Center. A minute later, she greets us from a short distance: "Come, come, we are downstairs, in the production workshop."

The lower floor of the cultural center, located just behind the Surp Asdvadzadzin Church, is the Mihran Ulikyan Production and Food Workshop. The center consists of two separate three-story buildings, including a guesthouse, lodge, and museum.

Kuhar Kartun is from the Vakıfköy Women's Cooperative management and has been living in Vakıflı for about 30 years.

"Unfortunately, Vakıfköy has been the last Armenian village in Turkey since 1938. I say 'unfortunately' because we are the only village left from thousands of villages in these lands," says Kartun. 

They make a living through agriculture, with citrus being the most important product, she says. "At a time when agriculture and production were declared over, we said, 'No giving up.' We came together in 2005 under the name 'Vakıfköy Women's Club.' In December 2021, we formed a cooperative. The goal is for every woman to earn an equal share. We said this village belongs to all of us. There were about 30 women. We, the women, united, sold whatever we could produce, and supported our family budgets. We educated our children."

When we ask her about the February 6 quake,. She says, "I have very, very bad memories of those days." Her mother, living in İskenderun, lost her life under the rubble. She mentions being in İstanbul at that time, with her husband and son in the village.

After the earthquake, the village tea garden became a refuge for all families. Men and women, old and young, everyone lived there for a while, all together. She says, "I couldn't see those here, but I knew what they were going through, what they felt, that they couldn't enter their homes because of their fears. I returned from Istanbul in March. After coming back, I felt relief."

The tea garden became a shelter for the village people after the earthquake. Nowadays, it is a 'spare time' area for the village men; playing backgammon, watching others play… The owner Garbis says they are economically in a difficult situation, mentioning that either the mandarins stay on the trees or they can be sold for next to nothing.

During those days, they received orders upon orders for solidarity purposes, and they quickly consumed the products they could save from the earthquake. Kuhar, who tells us that they rolled up their sleeves afterward, says, "Working became therapy for us."

However, many women had to leave the village after the earthquake. "Why? For the education of their children," says Kuhar Kartun. "Some sent their children to another city, and those whose children were young had to leave themselves. Because transportation to schools from here is difficult; no vehicles, no services, nothing."

Still, hopeful Kuhar says, "I'm sure they will all come back." A short moment of silence. Then, with a confident _expression_ on her face, she says:

"Hatay will rise again. Antakya, Samandağ will rise again. Any place touched by a woman's hand will recover, I'm sure. Just let's unite."

Orange peels carefully arranged are gently placed into two large pots where the sherbet is boiling. A pleasant aroma fills the entire workshop. Elena Çapar, one of the most diligent members of the Vakıfköy Women's Cooperative, slowly stirs the orange peels with a large ladle.

Elena, who was in the village during the earthquakes on February 6 and 20, had her house destroyed, and they had to live in a tent for a long time. Nowadays, they stay as a family in a container provided by the patriarchate and installed by the İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality. "My three sons, my husband, and my 92-year-old father-in-law. We're all together."

Her "workday" begins at home early in the morning, then she deals with cooperative tasks. If she's not cooking, she's at her desk, taking notes on orders with her phone in hand. At the end of the day, she returns "home," and the work cycle continues.

"As Vakıfköy women, we all participate in the production processes. Some of us use our hands, some our eyes, some our noses; everyone has a different role," says Elena.

"For example, today, the syrup for orange jam is boiling. Tomorrow is the day to fill the jars with jams. Orange jam is one of our main products. Walnut jam, orange jam, pomegranate molasses, concentrated syrups, olives, laurel soap. 

“These are our other main products. We make all of these with what we obtain from our own lands. We also have an agricultural cooperative in our village. We process the products we receive from them here."

"They say, 'It's being forgotten,' but it's not forgotten," says Elena. "As long as we live, this fear, this pain will live with us."

Nilgün Aşkar, co-chair of the Health and Social Service Workers Union (SES) Hatay Branch and a psychologist, believes that the solidarity networks established and the cooperatives formed since February 6 have been positive for earthquake-affected women. However, she thinks that these efforts are not sufficient.

Meeting with Aşkar in the park area next to the Zeynelabidin Tomb in Armutlu Neighborhood, where the SES Hatay Branch container is located, Aşkar emphasizes that both women's organizations and labor-professional and democratic mass organizations sensitive to women have been trying to support women through solidarity networks and meet their needs since the beginning of the earthquake.

Psychologist Nilgün Aşkar, noting that earthquake-affected women have dealt with many problems over the past year, says, "Having to deal with so much deprivation, lack, and workload, taking care of household responsibilities such as children, disabled individuals, and the elderly in large families have greatly exhausted women."

Aşkar says that they have formed psychosocial support groups as SES, and women's organizations have carried out similar activities. "Yes, these are breath-giving activities, but they do not reduce this burden. A year has passed, but there has been no change in terms of women's workload, and perhaps paid work has been added, along with financial difficulties."

Aşkar points out that some of the civil society activities for women in Hatay have evolved into the process of cooperativization by the end of the year:

"In these cooperatives, work is being done on the production of local products and their marketing. Of course, these are positive and valuable developments. Unfortunately, they are not enough."

Aşkar, despite these supportive activities, emphasizes that a heavy labor process continues for women in tents, containers, and homes, saying:

"Yet, what is needed here is the rapid opening of care centers and nurseries, the implementation of supportive activities for people with disabilities, and making schools as serviceable as possible. And these can be done by the state. 

“Unfortunately, it is not possible to meet all these needs through palliative methods, projects, and various organizational efforts."


On February 6, 2023, earthquakes with epicenters in the Pazarcık and Elbistan districts of Maraş, registering magnitudes of 7.8 and 7.5, respectively, resulted in destruction in 11 provinces in Turey’s eastern Mediterranean, Southeastern Anatolia, and Eastern Anatolia. The earthquake also caused significant damage and losses of life in Syria and the tremors were felt in almost the entire Turkey, as well as in various parts of the Middle East and Europe.

Maraş, Hatay and Adıyaman suffered the heaviest destruction. In addition to these cities, a three-month state of emergency was declared in Adana, Antep, Elazığ, Diyarbakır, Kilis, Malatya, Osmaniye, and Urfa.

According to official data in Turkey, 50,783 people lost their lives, more than 100,000 people were injured, and 7,248 buildings, including public buildings, collapsed during the earthquake. Approximately 14 million people were affected by the disaster. After the disaster, more than 2 million people faced housing problems, and at least 5 million people migrated to different regions.

Hatay was hit by two more earthquakes, measuring 6.4 and 5.8 magnitudes, on February 20, 2023, with the epicenters in the Defne and Samandağ districts. Some buildings heavily damaged on February 6 collapsed due to these earthquakes.



The cultural heritage of Armenia deserves more attention: Italian architect


YEREVAN, JANUARY 30, ARMENPRESS. Italian architect Alberto Collet, distinguished by his extensive international expertise and a profound passion for innovative projects, has made an impact in Armenia, too. His contribution includes spearheading the "Reflection of Infinity" project in collaboration with his team during the MEDS Gyumri workshop. In an interview with "Armenpress," Collet shares insights into his journey to Armenia, the successful realization of the project, and outlines his visionary plans for the country. Coming from the Veneto region in Italy, Collet's architectural endeavors have led him to diverse European cities, with Barcelona standing as his current place of residence.

– Could you please provide some insights into your background? Specifically, where were you born, and raised, and what professional path have you pursued?

I currently live in Barcelona; Spain and I was born in the Veneto region in the northwest of Italy. I have studied at the University IUAV, Faculty of Architecture in Venice. Here I learned about Armenians and Armenian culture for the first time.

During my degree, I have had the opportunity to take different courses, workshops, and seminars that have given me the possibility of relating both to the national and international panorama. Later I got my postgraduate degree in Urban Design at ArsNova Siena and then I acquired a double Master’s degree at Domus Academy and University of Wales, in Milan.

Years later I studied at the ETSAB in Barcelona.  I have also received my PhD at the FAUP in Porto, Portugal, researching the work of Álvaro Siza.

Throughout this time, I have been founding the Bauart studio and the Alternative Academic Project (AAP), a laboratory dedicated to innovative projects for public and private entities, mainly dealing with the organization of architecture workshops. I have developed an intense collaboration with different universities, including the Polytechnic University of Milan, where I currently work as a professor of architectural design.

– You mentioned that your first acquaintance with Armenia occurred in Venice. Could you please share more details about that experience?

I began to relate to Armenian culture during my university years in Venice. I started reading some books there and visited the island of Saint Lazarus. Years later I have had the possibility of meeting several members of the Armenian community of Buenos Aires in Argentina and from there discovering its history in the broadest sense, its cultural and spiritual heritage. Etchmiadzin Cathedral, built in the 4th century, is one of the oldest examples of Christian architecture.

I have always had a lot of admiration for the Armenian diaspora, which has brought Armenian culture to various parts of the world, keeping their identity. 

– In August, you were hosted and took part in the MEDS Gyumri project. Could you share some details about the process and describe the professional and emotional impact it had on you?

A few months before participating in the MEDS Gyumri project, I had prepared a very simple concept of a project for an important ephemeral architecture competition in Spain, for which I had not been selected. When I saw the announcement that they were looking for tutors for an architectural workshop in Armenia, with a project proposal, I thought that I could rethink and adapt my concept to the requirements of that workshop.

I didn't have much information about the place as initially, the area had to be outside of the city of Gyumri. So, I spent entire days studying the city from a distance, proposing options to the MEDS organization, but the proposed places were not realistic at that time.

Therefore, I had a concept of a minimal pavilion but did not know where this would be placed until I arrived in Gyumri. I remember that the first element that struck me was the stones of the buildings when I arrived in Armenia, almost like a watercolor, having different gradations of color and changing tones. After seeing that, I wanted to reinterpret those features of the black tuff by incorporating them inside the small element.

What motivated your decision to become involved in the MEDS project?

Surely the main reason to get involved with Meds was to participate in a project workshop that can be built. Previously I had participated in different workshops, as a collaborator, tutor, and organizer, in landscape contexts, international cooperation, land art, urban planning, and architectural projects, but none of them were focused on construction. This aspect interested me and continues to interest me a lot. On the other hand, the Armenian context from the beginning has seemed very novel, and exotic, a way of getting to know a cultural history that in my opinion deserves more attention. I needed to experiment and test some elements that I wanted to implement in the field of ephemeral architecture.

What significant discoveries did you make during your time in Armenia? Which areas of the country did you have the opportunity to explore?

The landscape is something that always remains imprinted on me in the territories I visit. The shape of the stone, its color, and its texture fascinate me very much, as it was in Armenia.

During the construction of the pavilion, I did not have time to explore some new places. However, the sponsor of our project, PROFAL Company organized an excursion for our team. It started with Lake Sevan which surprised me with its water color, its pure and crystalline shores but also with the presence of several historical monasteries. After that, we visited the Dilijan National Park, where I was fascinated by the large oaks, oriental fagus, and hornbeams. In the last part of the excursion, I had a chance to visit Yerevan, being able to appreciate the orientation towards Mount Ararat, getting lost in its streets with its lively bars in a mixture of scales, from small to large at the same time.

My tour through the center made me breathe a constant relationship with Europe and Mediterranean culture.

Please elaborate on your project, the Pavilion. What is the concept behind this architectural monument, and what prompted its installation in the territory of Gyumri, Mother Armenia?

Our project is called “Reflection of Infinity.” The orientation of the pavilion is towards the Black Fortress (Sev Berd), an important nineteenth-century fortress where lots of historical events took place. The Pavilion serves as an observation point covered with a mirroring element. This reflection connects the statue of Mother Armenia to another important element representing in this way the strength, resilience, and protectiveness of the Armenian people. The design incorporates reflective surfaces, and a black-painted interior to symbolize the connection with the black tuff. At the same time, the pavilion becomes a dynamic game for many children visiting this park.

“Reflection of Infinity” represents a beacon of hope and a symbol of revival. Its purpose transcends mere aesthetics. Since it was prepared by architecture and design professionals from different countries, it stands as a testimony to the power of collaboration with the promise of a brighter future for this resilient city. Representing a symbol of unity and progress, this structure is an icon that ushers in a new era for Gyumri, where past and present coexist in harmony, and the future is as bright as the reflections on its mirrored surface.

 - What is the focus of your current project, and what are your plans for Armenia?

Currently, I am keeping my main focus on domestic architecture and the evolution of architectural competitions in the European context, and in parallel, I am developing a more systematic planning of ideas for ephemeral architecture projects that could be presented in these contexts. I think that in Armenia there are many places where the idea of flexible elements that can be part of dynamic processes could be implemented.

I will also be happy to collaborate with different institutions, cultural centers, companies, etc. who see the possibility of generating synergy throughout the Armenian national context but also creating a connection in the European context.

New York Times Spins Lemkin’s Work on Genocide

Jan 23 2024
Raphael Lemkin’s application of the term genocide to the Ottoman Turk’s systematic mass slaughter of the Armenians predated the Holocaust, write Mischa Geracoulis and Heidi Boghosian.

By Mischa Geracoulis and Heidi Boghosian
Common Dreams

On Jan. 11, The New York Times published an article by Isabel Kershner and John Eligon titled “At World Court, Israel to Confront Accusations of Genocide.” 

From the standpoint of critical media literacy and ethical journalistic practices, the article exhibits framing biases, historical and contextual omissions and overly simplistic reasoning that attempts to explain why “Israel has categorically rejected the allegations being brought this week in the International Court of Justice by South Africa.” 

We assert that this editorial spin does a disservice to journalism and adds to a faulty record that enables human rights violators.

The overall tone is in lockstep with corporate media’s bias toward Israel — a bias credibly substantiated by the likes of the Lemkin Institute for the Prevention of Genocide, The InterceptThe GuardianMint Press News and Common Dreams. While multiple aspects of the article are troublesome, the third sentence provoked our immediate response letter to The New York Times. That sentence is as follows.

“Genocide, the term first employed by a Polish lawyer of Jewish descent in 1944 to describe the Nazis’ systematic murder of about six million Jews and others based on their ethnicity, is among the most serious crimes of which a country can be accused.”

Raphael Lemkin, who coined the word “genocide” on Sept. 12, 1948. (UN Photo)

Days later, echoing a similar mischaracterization of Raphael Lemkin’s work, USA Today published a piece by Noa Tisby titled, “Is Israel guilty of genocide in Gaza? Why the accusation at the UN is unfounded” (Jan. 16). 

Tisby’s article, like that of Kershner and Eligon, amended the breadth and depth of Lemkin’s work to accommodate a particular narrative.

Considering The New York Times’ reputation as a leading U.S. paper of record, the need for public correction therein took precedence over the op-ed in USA Today. Hence, our letter:

“As two Armenian Americans who grew up in the shadow of the 20th century’s first genocide, an attorney and a media expert respectively, we found critical context lacking in ‘At World Court, Israel to Confront Accusations of Genocide,’ by Isabel Kershner and John Eligon (January 11). Any discussion of genocide and Raphael Lemkin is grossly incomplete without citing how the Armenian genocide informed the Polish-Jewish lawyer’s noble work.

Lemkin (b. 1900), while a university student in the 1920s, learned of the Ottoman Turk’s coordinated mass slaughter of Armenians that culminated in 1915. The extermination of Armenians informed Lemkin’s life mission to establish international laws and treaties making genocide a punishable offense. In 1944, Lemkin finally named that crime genocide. 

This article implies that Lemkin advocated solely for the Jewish cause. A humanitarian first, Lemkin sought to establish protections for all people. For example, he worked with Algerians who sought to hold accountable their colonizers for crimes against humanity.

The Armenian Genocide impelled Lemkin to action. Absent this historical context, the article reinforces the Israeli government’s illogical claim that Jewish people are the sole victims of genocide. South Africa’s charge that the Israeli government is engaging in genocide reflects Lemkin’s commitment to the denunciation of the crime irrespective of ethnicity.”

The New York Times ignored our letter.

Oversimplifying Lemkin’s endeavors does a shameful disservice to his legacy. Such a decontextualized presentation edits out the foundation of his body of work and contracts the character of his mission.

It ignores the events that prompted and preoccupied his thinking on international discourse toward establishing laws against the crime that he came to term “genocide.” 

Lemkin was horrified that the Ottoman Turkish government could kill its own citizens — albeit “dhimmi,” or second-class citizens — with impunity. 

His application of the term genocide to the Ottoman Turk’s systematic mass slaughter of the Armenians predated the Holocaust. Years later, as a formidable advisor to prosecutors at the Nuremberg Trials, Lemkin drew conclusive parallels to the Nazis’ genocidal massacre of Europe’s Jewish citizens.

Editing the Armenian Genocide from Lemkin’s life work has contemporary and historical implications. In light of increasing attacks by a radicalized right-wing contingency in Israel on Jerusalem’s Armenians, deleting the Armenians from current reporting sets a dangerous tone for Armenians living under current threat. 

The Lemkin Institute for Genocide Prevention has featured articles on Armenphobia and on the Armenians’ right to exist, and has issued statements of concern over recent attacks on the Armenian Quarter of Jerusalem.

Jerusalem’s Armenians, or “East Jerusalemites” as they are designated by the Israeli government, like other Palestinians, live in a system that privileges Israel’s Jewish population. 

Hostilities from Jewish fundamentalists toward Armenians in Jerusalem are nothing new. However, the level and frequency of aggressions have intensified thanks to Netanyahu’s far-right government which has energized and normalized them. 

With attention concentrated on Gaza, Israeli extremists are free to act without fear of consequences. The Lemkin Institute explained that this can be “viewed as another attempt by Israeli extremists to create a homogenized Jewish ethnostate in the Palestinian territories.”

The New York Times article’s abridged version of Lemkin’s work emboldens those who continue to deny that the 1915 Armenian Genocide occurred. To selectively invoke Lemkin’s work on genocide as a defense against the charges brought against Israel banks on the idea that public memory is short. 

A well-worn quote reported by A.P.’s Berlin bureau chief, Louis Lochner, from a speech given by Hitler to his military generals before the 1939 Nazi invasion of Poland rhetorically asked, “Who today, after all, remembers the annihilation of the Armenians?” 

With hot wars blazing and existential alarms blasting, we not only remember the Armenians but uphold this New York Times article as a cautionary tale that words matter.

Mischa Geracoulis is a media literacy expert, writer and educator, serving as Project Censored’s curriculum development coordinator, and on the editorial boards of the Censored Press and The Markaz Review.

Heidi Boghosian is an attorney and is the executive director of the A.J. Muste Memorial Institute. Previously she was the executive director of the National Lawyers Guild, a progressive bar association established in 1937, where she oversaw the legal defense of people targeted by government. She also co-hosts the weekly civil liberties radio show “Law and Disorder,” which is based out of Pacifica Radio’s WBAI, New York, and is broadcast to more than 25 states on over 60 nationally affiliated stations.

This article is from  Common Dreams.

Views expressed in this article and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.


Armenian News Note: The link to the Common Dreams piece is at the link below:

Armenian Folk Ensemble Performs at HWS

Jan 15 2024
Thu, Jan 18 from 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Albright Auditorium
10 St. Clair St. Geneva, NY 14456

Cultural Exchange USA & Armenia, Thursday, January 18 at 7PM at Albright Auditorium at HWS. Donations accepted.

From the far reaches of Armenia, the ArmFolk group emerges, ready to enchant audiences with a mesmerizing presentation of Armenian culture through music and dance. Traditional instruments such as the Spiritual Duduk (wind instrument). Dhol (drum), and Qanon (string instrument) provide exotic and captivating sounds to accompany beautifully crafted musical compositions, lively dances, superb vocals and vibrant costumes. Prepare for an entertaining and authentic journey into the heart of Armenian heritage, suitable for audiences of all ages.

This cultural exchange of talented youth follows a Rotary Childrens Fund Friendship Exchange from 2022, when a team of American Rotarians visited Armenia and selected this group to be cultural ambassadors of Armenia in the US.


Can Armenia’s refugee crisis catalyse health-system reforms?

Jan 16 2024

  • Christopher MarkosianKim Hekimian, 
  • Kent Garber
  • Ara Darzi
  • Shant Shekherdimian


After more than 30 years, the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict has culminated in a sudden mass exodus of more than 100 000 refugees from the region to Armenia. Since 1991, Nagorno-Karabakh (also known as Artsakh), has existed as a de facto state, predominantly inhabited by ethnic Armenians. The latest conflict in the region erupted on Sept 19, 2023, with a military offensive by Azerbaijan leading to a Russian-mediated ceasefire on Sept 20. On Sept 28, authorities of the enclave made the formal decision to dissolve the state by the end of the year.

Subsequently, nearly the entire Nagorno-Karabakh population fled westward to Armenia, increasing the country's population of 2·8 million by more than 3% in the span of less than 1 week. Refugees with few belongings crammed in cars, buses, and trucks fled to pass through the Lachin Corridor on their journeys over multiple days.


 The refugees have since been dispersed throughout the country wherever shelter was available (appendix).


 Emergency medical care and supplies are being provided by the Armenian Government, non-governmental organisations, and international agencies, such as WHO, Doctors Without Borders, World Food Programme, and UNICEF. However, meeting the health needs of this vulnerable population disseminated throughout a country with scarce resources has proven arduously complex.

The immediate health needs of the refugees are immense.


 Before the exodus, people of Nagorno-Karabakh had been living under a punitive 9-month blockade, resulting in malnutrition and worsening health conditions due to scarcity of food, medicine, and vaccines.


 During their exile, a fuel depot explosion led to hundreds of casualties among refugees.


 Other factors contributing to medical needs include the suddenness of displacement, forfeiture of medical records, and loss of established longitudinal health-care providers.

But as headlines fade and humanitarian priorities shift elsewhere, Nagorno-Karabakh refugees will continue to face challenges in accessing high-quality health care. The Armenian Government intends to integrate displaced people into the health-care system, providing them with the same care as their host communities. However, Armenia has a health-care infrastructure with scarce resources and of inadequate quality. Given this reality, it would be wise for the global health response—typically focused on the acute needs of the refugees, and sometimes guilty of setting up health programming in parallel to government efforts—to simultaneously strengthen local health services towards universal health coverage, improved primary care, and optimised outcomes. Addressing the urgent needs, such as infectious and chronic diseases and mental health and psychosocial factors (eg, disruption of social support, loss of homeland, or absence of employment), in an evidence-based manner with the aim of health-care system strengthening will build preparedness in a region with ongoing conflict.
KH is an adviser to the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Armenia; is a member of the Strategy and Operations Committee of Health Network for Armenia Foundation; and is a policy fellow of the Applied Policy Research Institute of Armenia. KG has served as a consultant for WHO and the World Bank. AD is a non-executive director of National Health Service England; is the chair of the Pre-emptive Health and Medicine Initiative at Flagship Pioneering; and is the chair of the Aurora Prize Selection Committee. SS is the associate director for Healthcare Outreach for the Promise Armenian Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles; is an adviser to the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Armenia; is a member of the Strategy and Operations Committee of the Health Network for Armenia Foundation; and was the director of the Board of Trustees of City of Smile–USA. CM declares no competing interests.
Editorial note: The Lancet Group takes a neutral position with respect to territorial claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Blinken announces the need to establish a Palestinian state

 19:49, 9 January 2024

YEREVAN, JANUARY 9, ARMENPRESS. During the meeting with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken noted the need to ensure sustainable peace for Israel and the region, including through the realization of a Palestinian state, the State Department said in a statement.

 “The Secretary and Prime Minister discussed ongoing efforts to secure the release of all remaining hostages and the importance of increasing the level of humanitarian assistance reaching civilians in Gaza. 

The Secretary reiterated the need to ensure lasting, sustainable peace for Israel and the region, including by the realization of a Palestinian state,” the State Department said.

AW: Chidem Inch: Old Banquet Photos

I was recently at St. Gregory the Illuminator Church in Chicago for a concert. I noticed a photo, black and white, taken at a banquet at the Sheraton Towers on June 25, 1960, in honor of the visit of Catholicos Vazken I, of blessed memory. The photo was taken from a balcony and showed the head table and at least 30 tables of 10 people that could fit in the shot. Everyone was dressed up—to the nines as they used to say. My guess is there were 350-500 people in attendance.

The photo was impressive, not only because it captured a celebration of a Pontifical visit, or coincidently, that it was taken on the evening of my seventh birthday. It was something more—something nostalgic. There have been photos like this in every Armenian church, agoump or getron, in commemorative and souvenir booklets. These photos, always in black and white and from an aerial vantage point, keep us rooted to the past. They are always taken from an aerial vantage point, in the grand ballroom of a swanky downtown hotel. They capture the gatherings of Armenians in the U.S. honoring or commemorating something—a convention, the founding of a church, the burning of a mortgage, or perhaps the 25th anniversary of this or the 30th anniversary of that.

I am sure these photos are not unique to the Armenian community. Every ethnic group, church, civic or professional organization likely has similar photos.

Banquet at the Sheraton Towers in Chicago on June 25, 1960, in honor of the visit of Catholicos Vazken I, of blessed memory

From my perspective, I have seen more Armenian banquet photos than any others. These panoramic photos have impressed me for years, especially those from the 1930s and 1940s. These photos of hundreds of Armenians, dressed in their finest gathered in luxurious ballrooms, were taken just 15-30 years after the Genocide. It is hard to distinguish faces pictured beyond the front two rows of tables, and if the photo is not from Detroit, where I grew up, there is almost zero chance I will recognize anyone. Yet, I am mesmerized by these photos. I look at and study them much longer than I would a masterpiece in an art museum. It is a window to the first generation, the survivors of the Genocide. Who is the baker, the butcher, the storekeeper, the rug merchant? Who are the factory workers and common laborers? To me, they all seem to say, “Look at us. We not only survived but are thriving. We miss our homeland, but look at us.”

Why don’t we see more banquet photos these days? We certainly have photos of participants and delegates of various conventions, Armenian and Sunday School students, and gatherings on the steps of churches or other venues. We took photos like these then and certainly today. Yet, we almost never see these kinds of banquet photos anymore.

The answer is probably quite simple. These days we rarely use the grand city center hotels. Most of our banquets and dinners are held in suburban hotels and banquet halls. These venues were probably built after 1960. They all have something in common—none of them have balconies. It is almost impossible to get these kinds of photos without a very tall ladder or perhaps a drone. It seems these kinds of photos just faded away with the change in architecture and interior design of the newer, more “modern” venues.

There are a few modern versions of this genre of nostalgic photos. Maybe, given how many images are created these days, we should leave these panoramic banquet photos to the black and white era of that first generation.

Mark Gavoor is Associate Professor of Operations Management in the School of Business and Nonprofit Management at North Park University in Chicago. He is an avid blogger and oud player.

Difficulties in Armenia-Russia ties are temporary, says Lavrov


YEREVAN, DECEMBER 28, ARMENPRESS. The existing “difficulties” in the Armenia-Russia relations are "temporary" and will be resolved in case of political will, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said.

In an interview with TASS, Lavrov said that Armenia remains a strategic partner for Russia in the South Caucasus, but noted that ‘unfortunately, official Yerevan, yielding to the pro-Western beliefs, is trying to transform its foreign policy vector.’

Lavrov claimed that Western countries do not seek to bring peace and stability to Armenia and overall, their objective is to push Russia out of the South Caucasus.

Armenia, Egypt taking steps towards developing defence cooperation: Armenian Ambassador to Cairo

Daily News, Egypt
Dec 26 2023

Imagine embarking on a journey through time, where you can hear the echoes of ancient Egyptians whispering alongside tales of Armenian kings. Picture the sands of the Sahara dancing with the snow-capped peaks of Mount Ararat. This is the rich tapestry of history woven between Armenia and Egypt, a vibrant thread that stretches from ancient trade routes to the bustling streets of Cairo and Yerevan today. In this interview, Hrachya Poladyan, the Armenian Ambassador to Egypt, discusses the current state of bilateral ties, exploring areas of cooperation, challenges, and future prospects.

How would you describe the current state of relations between Armenia and Egypt? What are some of the key challenges and opportunities in further strengthening these ties?

First of all, I would like to seize this opportunity to congratulate the people of Egypt and President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi for his re-election, wishing Egypt continued prosperity and stability.

Coming to the bilateral relations between Armenia and Egypt, I would note that during the last three decades, since the Independence of the Republic of Armenia, we have developed close relations with the Arab Republic of Egypt, which have constantly been growing and expanding. Armenia has always attached great importance to political cooperation with Egypt, and bilateral political relations have been rich in high-level mutual visits. In this regard, the historic visit of President Al-Sisi this January as well as the visit of the President of Armenia to Egypt to attend COP-27, have raised the Armenian-Egyptian political dialogue to a new level. 

Armenia highly appreciates the stabilising political role of Egypt in maintaining and fostering security and cooperation in the Middle East, Africa and beyond, and its balanced, peace-oriented foreign policy as well as its effective role and experience in countering terrorism and extremism. Armenia is deeply interested in developing defence and security cooperation with Egypt, as well.   

Furthermore, our interstate relations are strong and have great potential for even further growth since they are based on the historically friendly ties between Armenian and Egyptian nations. There is complete historical information indicating that Armenians had already settled in Egypt since at least the eleventh and twelfth centuries, in the era of Fatimid Egypt and have since then been quite influential and contributed greatly to the foundation of the modern state of Egypt. Even today, there are streets named after Nubar Pasha (the first Prime Minister of Egypt who was of Armenian origin) in both Cairo and other cities, as well as a city called Nubaria. Also, during World War I, escaping the Genocide committed by the Ottoman Empire, Armenians received safe shelter in the Arab countries, including Egypt, where they found a new home. 

I can say that, in contemporary Egypt as well, the Armenian community has played an important role in the country’s cultural, educational and social life. Among the most prominent artists of Armenian origin who played a tangible role in Egyptian modern culture, I can mention the names Anushka, Lebleba, Nelly, Fayrouz, Sarukhan etc. And I proudly note that during the meetings with the political figures and religious leaders of Egypt, they always emphasise the great contribution of the Armenian community to the state-building process and overall development of Egypt. At the same time, the Armenian community of Egypt plays the role of a unique bridge between our two states.

To sum up, I can state that the Armenian-Egyptian political dialogue is on a very high level, the bilateral agenda is quite fruitful and includes the fields of economy, investments, tourism, education, culture, health, etc. The existence of the mutual political will to further expand the cooperation and explore new areas of collaboration, by itself generates opportunities to further strengthen these ties and the challenges that might exist in this regard are merely on the technical operational level.

We’ve seen recent high-level visits and agreements. What concrete steps are being taken to implement them and advance bilateral cooperation?

President Al-Sisi’s visit was historic since it was the first time that an Egyptian president visited Armenia. The President of Egypt had meetings with his Armenian counterpart, as well as with Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan. And as a gesture to mark the historic visit of President Sisi to Armenia, one of the squares of our capital city, Yerevan, has been named “Square of Egypt”. 

About a month after the visit, Ararat Mirzoyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia, paid a working visit to Egypt. Although the main goal of his visit was to participate in the 159th session of the Council of Arab Foreign Ministers at the Arab League, he also had a bilateral meeting with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and discussed with him the ongoing efforts to implement the arrangements that were agreed upon during the Egyptian President’s visit. The Armenian Foreign Minister also held very important meetings with Ahmed Al-Tayeb – the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Al-Sharif and Pope Tawadros II – Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the Coptic Orthodox Church. 

This year was significant also in terms of making specific steps towards developing defence cooperation between Armenia and Egypt. In December, Armenia (High-tech Ministry) participated in the international exhibition of defence and security technologies “EDEX 2023” in Cairo, with a joint pavilion that included 12 Armenian companies which demonstrated their solutions and products in the sphere of defence and security under the joint pavilion “Armenia”. In the framework of “EDEX 2023” minister of High-Tech Industry of the Republic of Armenia, Robert Khachatryan had bilateral meetings with Lieutenant General Mohamed Ahmed Zaki Mohamed, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Minister of Defense and Military Production of Egypt, Mohamed Salah El Din Mustafa, Egypt’s State Minister for Military Production, Amr Talaat, Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Mokhtar Abdellatif, Chairperson of the Arab Organization for Industrialization. During these meetings, certain agreements have been reached between the parties on military cooperation. In this context, I would like to highlight Armenia’s deep interest in developing security and defence cooperation with Egypt, a country that plays a pivotal role as a pillar of security and stability in the Middle East, the Mediterranean Basin, and Africa 

Alongside the official visits, high-level meetings regularly take place in various international areas, such as in the framework of the UN General Assembly, COP, etc. 

The high-level visits that followed the historic visit of the Egyptian President to Armenia themselves embody the concrete steps that are being taken to implement the agreements reached in Yerevan. We are expecting other high-level mutual visits in the near future and further expansion of our mutual cooperation in various fields. 

Specifically, can you share any potential joint projects or initiatives in areas like tourism, cultural exchange or education?

Cooperation in the field of tourism plays an important role in Armenian-Egyptian relations. We have recently made tangible achievements in the field of tourism. In February of this year, the first business forum between Armenian and Egyptian touristic companies was held in Cairo. During the forum, agreements were reached to enhance cooperation between countries in the relevant field. Representatives of Egyptian tourism companies will exchange visits to Armenia in the near future.

According to current data, about 105,000 tourists from Armenia visited Egypt during 2022. We expect that in 2023 the number of Armenian tourists will reach 140-150 thousand tourists. On the other hand, the number of Egyptian tourists visiting Armenia is still quite low, about 8000 in 2023. However, the number of Egyptian tourists wishing to travel to Armenia to explore our culture, history and traditions has significantly increased. Thus, in December there will be direct charter flights from Cairo to Yerevan taking Egyptian tourists to celebrate the holidays in Armenia. We hope that the start of regular direct flights between our capitals, expected shortly, as well as the recent facilitation of visa requirements by Armenia (Egyptian citizens can now apply for a visa, without any invitation, directly at the Embassy of Armenia or through the e-visa system, while Egyptians having a valid residency or a valid visa of over 40 countries (including GCC, EU and Schengen countries, USA, New Zealand, etc.) can obtain a visa upon arrival at any border-control point of the Republic of Armenia) will be a great contribution in increasing the number of Egyptian tourists visiting Armenia. 

I mention with satisfaction that the cultural cooperation between Armenia and Egypt is witnessing significant development. We are working to strengthen cooperation between the National Library and Archives of Egypt and “Matenadaran” Mesrop Mashtots Institute of Ancient Manuscripts in Armenia. In this context, an exhibition of Arab-Islamic manuscripts preserved in the Matenadaran will soon be organised in Cairo. In order to consolidate cooperation, the two parties are working to stimulate mutual visits by official delegations and cultural groups. In September 2023, the Yerevan State Puppet Theater participated in the 30th Cairo International Festival of Experimental Theater. Moreover, for two years in a row, the Ararat Armenian National Dance Youth Ensemble has represented Armenia at the World Children Festival, organised under the auspices of the Ministry of Youth and Sports of Egypt.

Also, to further enhance people-to-people ties, from time to time, the Armenian Embassy in Cairo and the Egyptian Embassy in Yerevan organise cultural events and concerts in the hosting countries. The last cultural days were organised in Yerevan by the Egyptian Embassy in 2019. Now the Armenian side is conducting preparatory work to organise Armenian cultural days in Egypt during the next year.

Besides this, we continued our intensive cooperation in the fields of education, and science. Mutual programs are being implemented to teach Armenian and Arabic to Armenian and Egyptian students. In the context of this cooperation, The Center for Armenian Studies at Cairo University continues its work. A lecturer from the Yerevan State University teaches the Armenian language to Egyptian students. In February a scientific symposium, dedicated to the 125th anniversary of the birth of the famous Armenian poet Yeghishe Charents, was held by the Center for Armenian Studies at Cairo University. This scientific symposium will be followed by an international scientific conference that will be held by the Center for Armenian Studies.

There is significant and fruitful cooperation with the Egyptian Agency of Partnership for Development, which continues hosting tens of Armenian officials (policemen, diplomats, military personnel, etc.) and other specialists (doctors, professors, etc.) in various training courses every year. Throughout the last three decades in total more than 2000 Armenian specialists have participated in the courses organised by the Egyptian Agency of Partnership for Development.  

Given the geographical distance, what are the main obstacles to increasing trade volume between our two countries? What role can Armenian and Egyptian business communities play in promoting bilateral trade and investment?

Firstly, I would like to point out that the Egyptian President’s visit to Armenia gave a new impetus to our economic relations. In fact, President Sisi’s visit to Yerevan was also significant due to the immediate and promising results that it has produced so far. With great excitement, I would note that several Egyptian and Armenian companies have since expressed reciprocal interest and willingness to explore business and investment opportunities in our friendly countries. Several companies have paid visits in order to get acquainted with the available opportunities on the ground. Thus, I can state that the representatives of the Armenian and Egyptian private sectors view President Sisi’s visit to Yerevan as a signal to further develop economic relations between Armenia and Egypt. In their announcements, the leaders of Armenia and Egypt have emphasised the need for expanding the partnership and mutual investments in various sectors of the economy, such as industry, high-tech, tourism, communications, electricity, etc. 

On its part, the Armenian Embassy in Cairo is making great efforts to strengthen and develop economic cooperation between the two countries, hoping that bilateral trade and mutual investments will increase in the coming years. It should be noted that the year 2022 was very promising as the volume of trade exchange increased four times compared to the numbers of 2021. However, given the geographical distance, the trade turnover volume between our two countries continues to face challenges, and the launch of direct cargo flights between the capital cities can assist in achieving more tangible results in the coming years. 

Armenia is also interested in participating in many international exhibitions held in Egypt. This year, Armenia participated in the 56th session of the Cairo International Fair. The products of nearly twenty Armenian companies were presented in the Embassy’s pavilion and the Armenian side intends to continue and increase participation in such events in Egypt.

In the first quarter of 2024, we are planning to convene the sixth session of the Armenian-Egyptian intergovernmental committee in Cairo, to follow up on the implementation of previously reached agreements, as well as to explore possibilities of reaching new ones aimed at further expansion of economic ties. For that purpose, in particular, in the framework of the intergovernmental committee session, a business forum will be organised between the two countries’ business representatives. 

The infrastructure development projects that the Egyptian government is pursuing are really impressive and the Embassy is constantly informing Armenian stakeholders about them. I can say that there are currently several Armenian IT companies that have expressed interest in implementing projects in the New Administrative Capital. Hopefully, in the near time, there will be some tangible outcomes to announce. 

Armenia’s participation in regional organisations, in turn, creates new avenues for cooperation with non-member states. For instance, this is the case with the Eurasian Economic Union: Egypt (along with several other countries in the region) is interested in cooperation with the EEU, and this interest broadens the scope of our cooperation with Egypt. In this regard, I would like to reiterate Armenia’s interest, as a member of the Eurasian Economic Union, in continuing to make efforts to help Egypt complete the process of drafting and signing a free trade agreement with the Union as soon as possible, noting that this agreement will provide new opportunities to support economic, trade and investment cooperation between Armenia and Egypt. 

Do you see any potential for Egypt to become a gateway for Armenian exports to Africa or vice versa?

Indeed, Egypt can and I think will become in the near future the main gateway for Armenian exports to Africa. At the moment, Armenian business with Africa is quite insignificant, but the expected increase in Armenian trade-business involvement in Egypt, will result in more and more Armenian companies getting interested in further expanding to other African countries and Egypt will be the natural gateway for them. In this context, we are interested in participating in the regional exhibitions held in Egypt, such as the Food Africa Expo, etc., believing that exhibitions are the best places to explore the regional markets and to find business counterparts in order to conduct targeted work and pursue profitable economic achievements.  

Armenia has set ambitious climate goals. How can Egypt’s experience and resources following COP28 support Armenia’s climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts? Are there any specific areas for potential collaboration, such as renewable energy development or sustainable agriculture practices? 

Firstly, I would like to note that the climate change agenda and new and renewable energy projects are among the priorities of the Armenian government. During the official visit by the President of the Arab Republic of Egypt to Armenia, as well as during the meeting that took place between the President of Armenia Vahagn Khachaturyan, and the President of Egypt, within the framework of COP 28 in Dubai, the two governments stressed the importance of enhancing direct and indirect investments between the states in all possible fields, including the energy sector. I would like to point out that the participation of the President of the Republic of Armenia in COP27 as well as in COP28 particularly emphasised Armenia’s readiness to develop cooperation in the field of energy with Egypt. 

Armenia believes that in order to address the challenges of Climate Change it is needed to change our lifestyle and the way that we deal with natural resources. To this end, Armenia works with Middle Eastern countries, especially with Egypt on the agenda of using water resources and with the UAE, on the projects of Solar energy generation. Also, we work closely with the EU on making amendments to the country’s Environmental Legislation.

I am convinced that in the near future, Armenian-Egyptian relations will also witness fruitful cooperation in this area in the form of concrete joint projects and initiatives. 

How can international actors, including Egypt, help address humanitarian concerns arising from the conflict, such as the displacement of civilians? 

Firstly, I would like to state that this conflict has never been about the Armenia-Azerbaijan Conflict, it has been about the right of Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh to live freely and in security in their homeland without the fear of being slaughtered. 

Armenia is committed to its vision of building stability and peace in the region and continues its constructive participation in the negotiations on the normalisation of relations with Azerbaijan. Seeking to establish lasting peace in the South Caucasus, Armenia has initiated “The Crossroads of Peace” project, expressing its readiness to ensure the safety of cargo, vehicles, people, pipelines, and electric lines in its territory, thus connecting all the neighbouring countries with its further continuation by linking the East with the West, the North with the South, thus, ensuring economic benefits for the region and countries beyond. Armenia believes that this project is able to play the role of an important guarantee of peace in the region.  

On December 7, 2023, Armenia and Azerbaijan jointly declared their commitment to normalising relations and are set to exchange prisoners captured during the recent conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh. Nonetheless, despite the fact that Armenia has always stated its commitment and readiness to normalise relations, the Azerbaijani side continues occupying around 150 square kilometres of Armenia’s sovereign territory during its aggressions in 2021 and 2022 and continues its warmongering and Armenophobic rhetoric laying territorial claims on other sovereign territories of Armenia (including capital Yerevan). In fact, the agreement to release the POWs all-for-all had been reached immediately after the end of the 44-day war, in 2020, and Baku did not comply with that agreement, although Yerevan did release all the POWs at the moment. So, this recent statement and the release by Azerbaijan of 32 POWs came only after Azerbaijan in September 2023 committed another aggression against the Armenians of Nagorno Karabakh and ethnically cleansed the region from its indigenous population. Within a few days, more than 105 thousand Armenians were forcibly displaced from their ancestral homes. Another 26 thousand Armenians were already displaced from Nagorno-Karabakh as a result of the devastating war of 2020. It should be mentioned that in its recent decision, the International Court of Justice ordered Azerbaijan to “ensure that persons who have left Nagorno-Karabakh and who wish to return are able to do so in a safe, unimpeded and expeditious manner”. Armenia welcomes this decision and fully supports the realisation of this legally binding decision.

As far as currently there are no appropriate conditions to guarantee the security and rights of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh, Armenia has been taking all necessary steps to address the needs of refugees. While the Azerbaijani mass media is busy spreading “scenes” claiming that there are Armenians who want to be integrated into Azerbaijan. It is clearly a false propaganda of Azerbaijani authorities trying to get rid of the status of a country that committed ethnic cleansing. It is pretty cynical, indeed, to force over 100 thousand Armenians out of their homeland and then to simulate the integration of a couple of dozens (not more than 40 people), especially if “integration” in Baku’s terms means forced assimilation. 

We expect the international actors, including Egypt, to support Armenia’s policy and efforts to establish peace in the region, as well as we expect them to firmly condemn the ethnic cleansing of Nagorno Karabakh and make efforts to secure the rights of the indigenous Armenian population to return to their homeland and live in security and peace.  

Can you share your thoughts on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, including Egypt? What implications do you see for Armenia and the region?

Concerning the ongoing events in and around Gaza, we express our condolences for all the thousands of innocent lives that are being lost as a result of military escalation, highly appreciating Egypt’s efforts to ensure the flow of humanitarian assistance to Gaza, receive wounded Palestinians and evacuate foreign nationals.

With regard to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict Armenia has always supported the “two-state” solution as the only viable option for establishing lasting peace in the Middle East.  

We encourage the parties to reserve peaceful means for resolving the conflict and come back to the negotiation table. We fully support Egypt’s efforts, in reaching negotiated solutions to all the outstanding issues and its mediating role. Armenia, as a direct neighbour of the Middle Eastern region, is a natural beneficiary of such a foreign policy of Egypt, since we are greatly interested in a peaceful and cooperative regional environment not only because of the economic and trade opportunities but also because of the security and wellbeing of thousands of our compatriots that live in the region (Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Palestine etc.) for centuries. 

How can Armenia and Egypt work together to counter regional threats like terrorism and extremism?

The challenges that terrorism and different types of extremism pose are universal, and Armenia itself is trying to fight terrorism in its surrounding area with any means available. In this regard, we highly appreciate Egypt’s effective role and experience in countering terrorism in the Middle East and Africa, but this, of course, is not a challenge that a single country can overcome. Unfortunately, there are other players in the region that support and foster various terrorist activities. We faced it ourselves during the 44-day war in 2020 when Azerbaijan used terrorists and mercenaries to fight against the Armenians of Nagorno Karabakh, and, as a matter of fact, two of those mercenaries are currently under detention in Armenia.  

With regard to the cooperation between Armenia and Egypt, Armenian security and police officers participate in various training courses organised by the Egyptian Agency of Partnership for Development, including in the field of the fight against terrorism, gaining much-valued experience and knowledge from our Egyptian partners. I can state that such courses have greatly enhanced the security collaboration between our countries and I see readiness and potential on both sides to further expand security dialogue. 


Mohamed Samir