Catholicos Aram I of the Armenian Apostolic Church visited the Archdiocese of America

Nov 18 2023

On Friday, , Catholicos Aram I of the Holy See of Cilicia of the Armenian Apostolic Church visited the Archdiocese of America Headquarters during his Pontifical visit to the United States of America.

In his welcoming remarks, Archbishop Elpidophoros of America expressed gratitude for the close relationship between the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese and the Armenian Prelacy, thanking Catholicos Aram I for his strong commitment to “ecumenical witness” and “mutual support and encouragement.”

Elpidophoros also shared his prayers for the Armenians suffering in Artsakh and his hopes for a peaceful end to global conflicts.

“As People of Faith” Archbishop Elpidophoros said, “we trust in the Lord’s will that His peace will reign upon the earth, even as it is in the Kingdom of Heaven. But we must work diligently toward that end. And until such peace is found, we must minister and serve those whose lives have been torn apart by conflict.”

Catholicos Aram I responded with words of gratitude and insisted on the importance of Orthodox unity through honest theological dialogue. He said: “It is a must to restore the broken unity of the Orthodox Churches.” He then continued: “I would like to say my appreciation to His Eminence for receiving me today in a truly Orthodox way with a spirit of true fellowship.”

This day marks the second time Catholicos Aram has visited the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, the first time being on October 3, 1997, during the tenure of His Eminence Archbishop Spyridon.

Catholicos Aram was accompanied by Archbishop Anoushavan Tanielian Prelate of the Eastern Prelacy; Very Rev. Sahag Yemishian, Vicar of the Eastern Prelacy; Very Rev. Hovagim Panjarjian, Media Officer of Catholicosate of the Holy See of Cilicia; Very Rev. Sarkis Aprahamian, Staff bearer; Rev. Fr. Nareg Terterian, Pastor, St. Sarkis Church in Queens, NY.

Archbishop Elpidophoros of America was joined by Bishop Athenagoras of Nazianzos; V. Rev. Archimandrite Nektarios Papazafiropoulos, V. Rev. Archimandrite Vaseilios Drosos; Rev. Protopresbyter of the Ecumenical Throne Panagiotis Papazafiropoulos; Rev. Protopresbyter Nicolas Kazarian, Rev. Archdeacon Dionysios Papiris & Mrs. Elaine Allen.

Source: Orthodox Observer

Photos: Archdiocese of America

Russia, Azerbaijan and Türkiye refuse to attend OSCE PA meeting in Armenia


YEREVAN, NOVEMBER 18, ARMENPRESS. Russia, Azerbaijan and Türkiye are not participating in the OSCE PA Autumn Meeting held in Yerevan.

Armenian MP Sargis Khandanyan, the Head of the Armenian Delegation to the OSCE PA, told reporters that the three countries have not revealed the reason for their decision to not attend the event.

Invitations to attend the event are sent by the organization’s international secretariat. All OSCE member states, as well as the 11 partner states were invited.

Khandanyan said that Russia informed the OSCE PA President that it won’t participate a day before the event. 

“Regarding the Azerbaijani delegation, for several times, in various formats, they had raised an issue related to their security in Armenia. The National Assembly of Armenia informed the OSCE PA President that the National Assembly is ready to guarantee the security of the delegates, but as you can see, the Azerbaijani delegates did not come,” Khandanyan told reporters.

Last year, however, when Armenia hosted the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly meeting, Azerbaijan’s delegates did participate.

“There are security protocols and we are ready to implement it, but they didn’t come,” the MP said.

There’s been no explanation from Türkiye regarding its non-participation.

"The enclaves may become a pretext for Baku’s next attack" – Armenian political scientist

Nov 13 2023
  • JAMnews
  • Yerevan

Consequences of the termination of negotiations

“If the Armenian-Azerbaijani peace talks are frozen, i.e. the process stops on both Western and Russian platforms, Azerbaijan will have a window of new opportunities for a military attack on Armenia,” political analyst Beniamin Poghosyan believes.

He warns that the Azerbaijani side may launch military actions not only on the pretext of obtaining the so-called “Zangezur corridor”, i.e. a road uncontrolled by Armenia to connect with Nakhichevan, but also “enclaves”. In his opinion, this is a more realistic scenario of Baku’s actions, for which the Azerbaijani authorities are now preparing grounds.

  • “We expect cooperation with EU in security sphere” – Armenian Security Council Secretary
  • “Armenia was only reacting to challenges”: on the situation after the 2020 war
  • “Apart from Armenia, no one needs the Crossroads of Peace.” Opinion from Yerevan

Given the weather conditions and the terrain, the political analyst suggests that military action is unlikely in winter. They could start in spring, and the reason for them could be, in Baku’s terminology, “Armenian-occupied villages or enclaves”.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has repeatedly publicly stated that Armenia recognizes Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity of 86,600 square kilometers. But he has not received reciprocal recognition by Azerbaijan of Armenia’s territorial integrity. At a press conference organized in late May, Pashinyan also stated that Armenia’s 29,800 square kilometers of territorial integrity does not include the village of Tigranashen in Ararat province and six villages in Tavush province.

And now, according to the political analyst, it is important to understand whether the enclaves fall within the framework of Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity, which the Armenian prime minister has recognized:

“If Armenia recognizes that there is a territory under its control that it considers part of Azerbaijan, I am afraid that we may have the same situation here as on September 19, 2023 [referring to the military actions of the Azerbaijani army on the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, after which the entire Armenian population moved to Armenia].”

Poghosyan explains that Azerbaijan could resort to military action and present it as “liberating its territories, exercising the right to self-defense in accordance with Article 51 of the UN Charter.”

“I don’t rule out that we will have a situation where the Russian president will say, ‘What should I do?’ Armenia has said that these enclaves are Azerbaijan, and Azerbaijan is returning its territories. And there will be no special reaction from the West,” he said.

Areg Kochinyan proposes to engage an American private military company to solve Armenia’s security problems until the completion of defense reforms

Poghosyan emphasizes that Baku has already received the maximum from its Western partners, “namely, it conducted ethnic cleansing in Nagorno-Karabakh with zero reaction to it from the West”. In addition, within the framework of the Western negotiating platform, the Azerbaijani side achieved

  • “an agreement to recognize territorial integrity within the Soviet administrative boundaries,
  • Armenia’s recognition of Nagorno-Karabakh as part of Azerbaijan, as well as the rejection of the demand for autonomy”

He recalls that Armenia made concessions and “lowered the bar on the status of Nagorno-Karabakh”, expecting to receive guarantees of rights and security of Armenians of the unrecognized republic, but received nothing. Meanwhile, Azerbaijan used the concessions of the Armenian side as a “legitimate basis for attacking Artsakh”.

According to the analyst, Baku has nothing more to gain from the Western platform, so it is “saying goodbye to it and trying to return to the Russian negotiating platform”.

Military expert Leonid Nersisyan believes that “Baku will not occupy, for example, the southern region of Armenia, Syunik, but will resort to a new escalation”

The analyst says that Armenia is disappointed with the Western platform, as it did not get anything there, but also does not want to return to the Russian platform. He notes that given strained Armenian-Russian relations, Azerbaijan has “started flirting” with Russia and Iran:

“Azerbaijan is trying to make Armenia look like a state that is constantly trying to ensure the presence of ‘enemy forces’ here for Russia and Iran — the EU and the US.”

In addition, Baku supports the Russian and Iranian position that regional problems should be solved by regional countries and the presence of extra-regional powers only harms the process of normalization of relations.

“If we continue to avoid the Russian platform, Azerbaijan will further toughen this rhetoric of its, saying to Russia and Iran: look, Armenia wants to bring your enemies to the South Caucasus,” he said.

In this case, according to the political analyst, there will be “additional problems not only in Armenian-Russian, but also in Armenian-Iranian relations, which is not in Armenia’s interests.”

Iranian President Raisi urges Islamic leaders to reach firm decision on Palestine


YEREVAN, NOVEMBER 11, ARMENPRESS. Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has called on the leaders of Islamic countries to reach a firm decision on the issue of Palestine and fully implement it.

Speaking before departing Tehran on Saturday morning to attend the extraordinary meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Raisi emphasized the importance of concrete actions, reports the Iranian news agency IRNA.

“It is expected that the heads of Islamic countries will reach a firm decision on the issue of Palestine, which is the most important issue in the world, and the decision will be fully implemented,” he said, calling for action instead of paying lip service to the Palestinian issue.

As IRNA reports, Raisi noted that Palestine is the reason behind the establishment of the OIC, adding that an immediate halt to Israeli bombardment of Gaza, opening of a way to help the people of Gaza, lifting the blockade of the enclave, and realization of Gaza’s rights are the main goals of the organization.

Armenia steps up military ties with West as Russia relations tumble

Nov 10 2023

The Armenian authorities have continued to foster security ties with the West, as the country’s relations with Moscow remain in freefall.

Earlier this week, the Chief of Staff of the Armenian Armed Forces, Eduard Asryan, visited the United States European Command in Stuttgart, where he met with deputy commander Lieutenant General Steven Basham, to discuss Armenian–American military cooperation.

The two were reported to have discussed army professionalisation programmes, the modernisation of Armenia’s management systems, peacekeeping, military medicine and education, and combat readiness.

The meeting with Basham came off the heels of recent joint Armenian–American military drills in Armenia in September.

Germany has also expressed interest in Armenia’s security concerns. On 3 November, Germany’s Foreign Minister, Annalena Baerbock stated in Yerevan that Germany was willing to ‘cooperate’ with Armenia on security matters.

And early in October, France’s Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna stated that Paris and Yerevan had agreed to sign a deal that would enable the delivery of military equipment to Armenia to help Armenia ‘ensure its security’.

Later that month, the two countries signed bilateral military cooperation deals to provide weaponry including radars and anti-air systems to Armenia, when Armenia’s Defence Minister Suren Papikyan and the French Minister of the Armed Forces Sébastien Lecornu met in Paris. France has also dispatched a military attaché to the French embassy in Yerevan.

Less than a week later, the Secretary of Armenia’s Security Council Armen Grigoryan met with senior US and French officials in Malta to discuss the security situation in the South Caucasus.

Armenia has also looked further afield for its renewed bid to diversify its military ties, including appearing to secure further weapons deals with India, with whom it already had close ties.

Citing an anonymous source, India’s Economic Times reported in October that New Delhi was considering providing a new shipment of military equipment to Armenia following a senior Armenian visit to India.

This was later corroborated by the Eurasian Times, which on Wednesday reported that Armenia had purchased a $41.5 million anti-drone system from India’s Zen Technologies.

Armenia previously purchased military equipment from India in the autumn of 2022, including Pinaka multiple launch rocket systems, anti-tank missiles, rockets, and ammunition.

Defence Minister Suren Papikyan also made a visit to Beijing in October to discuss potential defence cooperation with China.

Armenia’s courting of Western and other security partners has come as the country has experienced a dramatic rift with Moscow.

In late October, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan hinted that Russian inaction in the face of Azerbaijan’s offensives on Armenian territory in 2021 and 2022 had forced Yerevan to ‘diversify’ its relations in the security sector.

A month prior, in his Independence Day address, Pashinyan stated that Armenia’s allies had ‘for many years […] set the task of demonstrating our vulnerabilities and justifying the impossibility of the Armenian people having an independent state’.

His statement was taken by many as a reference to Russia.

As Yerevan’s relations with Moscow have deteriorated over the past three years, Armenia has opted out of several high-profile drills and summits organised by the CSTO — the Russia-led security bloc.

Last year, when Armenia hosted the CSTO summit, several hundred people protested in Yerevan demanding that Armenia leave the organisation over its failure to protect Armenia against Azerbaijan’s September 2022 attack.

This year, Armenia refused to host joint CSTO peacekeeping exercises which Pashinyan labelled as being ‘inexpedient in the current situation’. 

Armenia also sat out CSTO drills in Belarus and Kyrgyzstan in September and October.

Yerevan also refused to send a representative to serve as the CSTO’s deputy secretary general in March.

Defence Minister Suren Papikyan has also sat out CSTO Council of Ministers of Defence meetings in 2022 and 2023.

Moscow Says Russia Should Monitor Azerbaijan-Nakhichevan Transport Route

Russian border guards at a checkpoint in Meghri, Armenia

Yerevan Reacts, Saying Armenia will Monitor its Own Routes

Russia on Thursday reiterated that it should monitor any future transport route linking Azerbaijan with Nakhichevan, insisting that this matter has been enshrined in the documents signed by the leaders of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia.

“I would like to draw your attention to the fact that according to the tripartite agreements, the monitoring of transport communication between Azerbaijan and the Nakhchivan will be carried out by the agencies of the Border Guard Service of the FSB [Federal Security Service] of Russia,” said Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova during a briefing on Thursday.

Yerevan was quick to respond by saying that in the event of opening regional routes, Armenia will carry out border and customs checks on its territory through its state institutions.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ani Badalyan said that this principle is one of the main aspects of the Armenian government’s “Crossroads of Peace” project.

“The Republic of Armenia has never, in any document, agreed to any limitation of its sovereignty, and the control of a third country cannot be established over any part of its sovereign territory,”  Badalyan stressed.

The Armenian foreign ministry spokesperson added that a special unit was recently created as part of Armenia’s National Security Service, whose task is to ensure the safety of these roads as well as the passage of goods, cargo, vehicles and people in the event of the opening of regional routes.

Zakharova also said that Russia is guided by the task of lifting the blockade of Armenia, including when it supported the resumption of dialogue between Armenia and Turkey. Zakharova reminded that the first meeting of the respective special representatives of the two countries was held on January 14, 2021 in Moscow.

“Russia also considers the 3+3 format another good platform for cooperation between the countries. In 2024, during the next session of the platform in Turkey, the topic of transport will also be considered. Within the framework of that format, Yerevan’s constructive proposal will be in demand, I am convinced,” Zakharova said.

During the three years since the signing of the so-called “tripartite” agreements, both Russia and Azerbaijan overtly have violated the provisions of the documents, with the most recent case being the non-responsive approach by Russian peacekeepers in Artsakh when Azerbaijan launched a large-scale attack in September forcing the displacement of more than 100,000 Artsakh residents, which many rights advocated are calling a deliberate ethnic cleansing campaign.

Zakharova said that initiatives taken by Armenia have been consistent with the decisions of the working group, comprised of the deputy prime ministers of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia, to tackle the unblocking of transport routes between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

The Russian foreign ministry spokesperson said that Russia is convinced that unblocking process plays an important role in the normalization of relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan, and contributes to stability as well as the opening of transit-logistics potential in the South Caucasus.

Zakharova lamented that disagreements between Armenia and Azerbaijan continue to delay the process as envisioned by Russia. She emphasized that Russia has expressed its political will and will continue to support the process, but “one side’s political will is not enough,” she said.

Zakharova also announced that Russia will send 40 tons of humanitarian aid to Armenia in the coming days in response to the humanitarian crisis arising from the exodus of more than 100,000 displaced Artsakh residents.

“We [Russia] are assisting Armenia and the Armenians of Karabakh in the humanitarian sphere. Specifically, the government of the Russia Federation, taking into consideration the needs of the Armenian side, has prepared 40 tons of humanitarian aid. The humanitarian cargo includes a mobile power station that can supply energy to dozens of homes. The prepared humanitarian action complements the steps already taken to help the displaced people of Karabakh,” Zakharova explained.

She recalled that the Russian Humanitarian Mission project has already sent six tons of aid to Armenia that included 500 food kits, and 500 packages of personal hygiene products and household chemicals.

Zakharova added that on October 20 Russia sent 1.5 tons of humanitarian aid to various cities in Armenia, adding that forcibly displaced Artsakh residents who have settled in Armenia’s Syunik Province on a permanent basis have been receiving assistance from the Zangezur Copper-Molybdenum Company and a number of other Russian-affiliated institutions.

ANCA-WR Endorses L.A. City Councilmember Nithya Raman for Re-Election in CD4

Representatives of the ANCA-WR with L.A. City Councilmember Nithya Raman

Armenian Organizations Gather for Roundtable Addressing Urgent Community Needs

LOS ANGELES– The Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region announced its endorsement of incumbent Councilmember Nithya Raman for re-election to Los Angeles City Council District 4 for the 2024 primary election.

Councilmember Raman has served District 4 since she was first elected in 2020 when she unseated then-incumbent Councilmember David Ryu, marking at that point the first time in 17 years that a challenger had ousted a sitting Los Angeles City Councilmember.

Following her election, Councilmember Raman has taken the initiative to educate herself about issues that are important to her Armenian-American constituents and has participated in many events in our community, including a long-planned roundtable discussion with dozens of Armenian organizational leaders on November 7.

In response to Azerbaijan’s multiple attacks on Armenia and Artsakh since her election, Raman has been vocal with her support of the Armenian people in strongly condemning Azerbaijan’s unprovoked military aggression and genocidal acts of ethnic cleansing and calling on the Biden Administration to sanction the Aliyev regime.

ANCA-WR Board Chair Nora Hovsepian Esq. praised Raman for her strong and unwavering support for the Armenian community and for her commitment to human rights and justice.

L.A. Citycouncilmember Nithya Raman with ANCA-WR Board and staff members

“Councilmember Raman has consistently spoken out against Azerbaijan’s aggression and has worked to raise awareness of the plight of the Armenian people. On a local level, she has worked closely with us to amplify our issues and to safeguard and ensure the successful completion of the Armenian Cultural Foundation’s conversion of the firehouse in Encino to a much needed Armenian community center, a decade after the project was first initiated by Councilmember Paul Krekorian and former Councilmembers Eric Garcetti and Paul Koretz. We are proud to endorse her for re-election and look forward to continuing to work with her to advance our shared priorities,” Hovsepian explained.

“I am deeply honored to receive the endorsement of the Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region. Across the vibrant landscape of Council District 4, I take great pride in representing a vital portion of the Armenian American community in the southern San Fernando Valley, Los Feliz and portions of Hollywood, and their thriving institutions at Los Angeles City Hall,” said Councilmember Raman.

“I look forward to continuing to work closely with ANCA-WR and the many inspiring local leaders who are fighting to ensure that Armenian Americans have the support they need here in Los Angeles to sustain and support their community. Especially during this time of unfathomable tragedy in Artsakh, I remain committed to using my voice and platform to uplift the issues facing Armenians and to push for the strongest possible federal response against Azerbaijani aggression,” Raman added.

Los Angeles City Council District 4 ranges from parts of Silver Lake and Los Feliz to the Hollywood Hills, Sherman Oaks to Encino, and parts of Studio City, Van Nuys, and Reseda. The district is home to a large portion of San Fernando Valley’s Armenian-American population, situated in the neighborhoods of Sherman Oaks, Van Nuys, Encino, and Reseda. District 4 is home to several Armenian-American community institutions, such as Holy Martyrs Armenian Apostolic Church, Holy Martyrs Ferrahian High School, and the planned ACF community center in Encino.

A roundtable with Councilmember Raman allowed local community organizations to address issue of importance

Most recently, on November 7, the ANCA-WR, several of its local chapters, and dozens of leaders from major Armenian community organizations all participated in a roundtable discussion organized by ANCA-WR San Fernando Valley West with  Councilmember Raman.

The meeting offered a platform to delve into pressing issues faced by the local Armenian-American community, including exploring avenues through which the City of Los Angeles can tangibly support the 100,000 Artsakh refugees displaced by the humanitarian crisis caused by Azerbaijan’s ethnic cleansing of the region, ensuring Armenian-American community representation in CD4’s staffing and outreach efforts, and ways to counter growing Armenophobia and anti-Armenian sentiment which have emerged as a public safety concern for our community.

Raman expressed her unequivocal support and solidarity with the Armenian people and reaffirmed her commitment to continue to champion Armenian issues within the Los Angeles City Council.

On local issues, Raman also spoke with participating community representatives about pressing issues including homelessness, the rise in violence and property crimes, pathways for community organizations to pursue public grant opportunities, and other urgent public safety concerns.

Most significantly, Raman reiterated and reassured her ongoing support for the Armenian Cultural Foundation’s ongoing Firehouse construction project which upon completion will serve as a vitally important and much-needed Armenian community center in the Valley. Since her election, she has been instrumental in securing permits and funding for the project and is committed as a friend and ally to the Armenian-American community to continuing her efforts in this regard.

Raman began her political career as a Neighborhood Council member, tapping into her professional background as a Harvard and MIT-educated urban planner working to address the growing homeless population within her community. Galvanizing grassroots support, she demonstrated her commitment to making government systems work for the communities they are charged with serving.

To that end, as a member of Los Angeles City Council, Raman has more than tripled available housing programs in Council District 4 for the homeless, and offered plans to make housing more affordable for residents of CD4, including zoning reforms for more multi-family housing units that are more accessible to public transit and major roads, in order to make communities more affordable, accessible, and less congested.

ANCA WR local chapter leader Garo Kamarian expressed gratitude to Raman for her leadership on matters crucial to the Armenian-American community. The roundtable discussion concluded with an engaging question and answer session, during which Councilmember Raman addressed a variety of questions from attendees.

Participating organizations included representatives from the ANCA-WR, ANCA-San Fernando Valley West, ANCA-North Valley, ANCA-Pasadena, Armenian Youth Federation Sardarabad Chapter, Homenetmen Massis Chapter, the ARF Rosdom and Arshavir Shiragian Gomideh, Hamazkayin Cultural Association Barouyr Sevag Chapter, Holy Martyrs Armenian Church, Holy Martyrs Ferrahian School Board and Administration, Armenian Relief Society, and Armenian Relief Society Anahid Chapter.

Primary elections will take place on March 5th, 2024. The general election will be held on November 5th, 2024. Visit for more voter information.

What to eat in Armenia: 6 authentic dishes and where to try them

Nov 6 2023

Traditions in Caucasus kitchens stretch back centuries – so grab a lavash and get stuck in

Eating is more than just sustenance in Armenia; it’s vital to the warm hospitality for which the nation is known. Get talking to any Armenian and there’s a good chance you’ll be invited to dinner and presented with any number of regionally grown and lovingly prepared dishes to savour. To say no would not only be futile but also be deeply foolish.

Armenian cuisine has much in common with Persian and Arab cooking. A typical Armenian dinner table will be laden with a variety of complementing tastes and textures, from smoky barbecued meats and salty baneer cheese to crunchy raw veg destined to be stuffed into folds of traditional leavened lavash bread and enjoyed over the course of several hours. Presented with modest simplicity, Armenian food is a lesson not only in flavour but culture, history and humanity – and there’s no better way to learn than to pull up a chair. Here are six dishes you should not miss.

A staple at every table, lavash is a traditional soft flatbread that resembles a colossal Mexican tortilla. The dough is made from a simple combination of flour, salt and water, though it’s in the centuries-old technique that the magic really lies. The tonir, or oven, is a deep circular cavern that is sunken into the ground with a blistering hot fire at its base. After being rolled and cut on a baking board, the dough is hand-spun like a pizza base before being stretched out over a padded batat, which resembles a mini ironing board. Bakers then vigorously slap the stretchy dough onto the side of the oven where it crisps up in a matter of minutes. Once the bread is ready, it is typically removed by the most senior baker before being frisbeed onto a rapidly building pile. Amateur bakers can roll up their sleeves at Sergey’s Place, a traditional restaurant nestled in a leafy garden in Garni, just minutes from the Greco-Roman Garni Temple and 27km east of Yerevan. Under the guidance of wisened lavash makers Noyem and Nariné, visitors can swirl and slap to their heart’s content, before sampling the finished product with a spread of local delicacies.

Gata is to Armenians what crepes are to the French; fresh, doughy and available everywhere. Devoured morning, noon and night by sweet-toothed locals, the dense, bready cake is a mixture of butter, flour and sugar with various nut and fruit fillings on offer. For a true gata education, look no further than Haghartsin Gata in the grounds of Dilijan’s Haghartsin Monastery, 100km north of Yerevan. Here, sisters Lusaber and Susana run a tight ship, communicating through a series of expressive grunts, which leave little room for misinterpretation. We’re told, via our guide, that we will be shown the technique for making gata once and once only, though the tough masks soon begin to slip as the sisters hoot with laughter and dish out grandmotherly hugs when the cakes emerge hot and golden from the wood-fired oven. Enjoy your handiwork fresh out of the pan while wandering around the impressive 13th-century monastery. The Ruler of Sharjah, Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, was so impressed during his 2005 visit that he funded an entire refurbishment, though his opinions on its gata remain a mystery.

Armenia’s famously loaded vine and cabbage leaves are packed full of minced meat and rice, stewed slowly in a light sauce and served up tapas style, ready to be thrown back in gluttonous abandon. If you opt to eat in a homestay (which you absolutely should), the range of dolma on offer can be overwhelming, featuring a pick ‘n’ mix of bulghur, nuts, spices, veg and dried fruits. In restaurants, common dolma tends to comprise minced meat and rice with an increasing number of vegetarian options available. For a stimulating way to sample dolma, head to Sherep Restaurant just steps away from Yerevan’s Republic Square. From the open kitchen and live music to the chic industrial décor, the lively space is brimming with character for a tantalising night on the tiles.

Khurjin is a dish you will eat once and dream about for all eternity. The lamb parcel is wrapped in lavash dough to the effect of a clay jar, which is ceremoniously snipped open at the table using silver tongs and kitchen scissors. The outpouring of tomatoes, onions and succulent morsels of buttery lamb is an eruption of gastronomic bliss, creating a molten cascade of flavours unlike anything else in the Caucases or beyond. For five-star khurjin, head to Lavash Restaurant in Yerevan for farm-to-table fare served up in a bright and airy dining room that spills out onto the street. Don’t leave without a wedge of the famous milfey, a towering dessert of crispy layered pastry and silky cream.

Khorovats – or barbecued meats – are served everywhere from fine-dining restaurants to roadside stalls. Seasoned skewers of pork, chicken, lamb and beef are typically barbecued over wood coals and dished up with a parcel of lavash. The Armenian word for “life lived to the fullest”, khorovats  are served at every Armenian gathering, be it a wedding celebration or a birthday party, with waiters regularly dancing as they serve the sizzling skewers. To enjoy a similar jovial atmosphere, few places compare to Tavern Yerevan Riverside in the capital. Here, live theatrical performances are staged regularly, complete with an all-singing, all-dancing cast – though the waiters remain suitably stationary between services.

Though it may seem gratuitous to add fruits and vegetables to a list of iconic dishes, the garden crudités in Armenia really are a highlight of any meal. Outside of Yerevan, the most popular occupation is agriculture, and the quality of locally grown produce is notable and rare. Armenians grow what the climate favours. Food is seasonal and hasn’t crossed continents to make it to your plate. The country is perhaps best known for its apricots, though peaches, pomegranates, plums, cherries and grapes all flourish in Armenian soil. Salads – or aughtsan – are remarkably fresh, with both mixed dishes and raw platters usually served early on in a meal. Perhaps most unusual to a foreign palate is red ruben basil, a highly fragrant herb with a distinctive dark purple hue and strong notes of aniseed. Though served in almost every restaurant, local fruits, veg and herbs are best enjoyed with a view. Zarni Parni Restaurant in Haghpat is 170km north of Yerevan, teetering on a cliffside with rolling green mountains and picturesque valleys as far as the eye can see. Overlooked by an accessible cave fortress and museum, it’s a tremendous way to combine culture and cuisine and a fitting end to your Armenian culinary schooling. 

Armenia rejects Russia’s claims to participate in meeting on Ukrainian Peace Formula

y! news
Nov 4 2023

Paruyr Hovhannisian, Armenian Deputy Foreign Minister, commented on Russia's dissatisfaction with Yerevan's participation in the Ukrainian Peace Formula summit in Malta.

Source: European Pravda with reference to

Details: Hovhannisian said the Russian Federation incorrectly qualified the meeting in Malta between Armen Grigoryan, Secretary of the Security Council of Armenia, and Andrii Yermak, Head of the Ukrainian President's Office.

Quote: "This platform is a platform for secretaries of security councils. I wouldn’t say that it was devoted to the issue of Ukraine, there was a broader agenda. I think that this description does not correspond to reality."


  • Maria Zakharova, the Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, said that Moscow considers Armenia's participation in the summit on the Ukrainian Peace Formula in Malta to be a "demonstrative anti-Russian gesture".

  • The third meeting on the Ukrainian Peace Formula in Malta, which occurred on 28-29 October, focused on questions of nuclear, food and energy security, as well as the release of prisoners and deportees and the restoration of the territorial integrity of Ukraine.

  • The meeting was attended personally or remotely by representatives of 66 countries – over 20 more than in the previous meeting in Saudi Arabia. Armenia took part in the meeting for the first time. However, China did not participate.

  • In September of this year, Armenia handed over humanitarian aid to Ukraine for the first time – it was brought during the visit of Nikol Pashinyan, the Armenia Prime Minister's wife.

  • Subsequently, Pashinyan and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy met for the first time on the sidelines of the European political community summit in Granada in early October.

Armenia and Hungary Committed to Rebuilding Relations

Hungary Today
Oct 27 2023
MTI-Hungary Today 2023.10.27.

Hungary remains committed to rebuilding relations with Armenia, and after a ten-year diplomatic hiatus, the parties are working to establish cooperation that serves the interests of both nations, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said in Yerevan on Friday.

At a joint press conference with his Armenian counterpart Ararat Mirzoyan, the minister stressed that this visit “marks the end of a long journey,” as there had been no diplomatic relations between the two countries for ten years. He recalled that last year, the two sides decided to normalize relations.

He said that the strong common ground of Christianity is a great help in this, as both Hungary and Armenia have a long Christian heritage. He added that the Armenian Christian Church has played an important role in rebuilding the relationship.

he said.

He also stressed that the government had provided 116 million forints (EUR 300,000) in aid to families resettling from Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia and 100,000 doses of vaccines during the coronavirus epidemic. “Hungary remains committed to rebuilding these links,” he said.

As a sign of this, he said, another 40 million forints (EUR 90,000) will be provided to families moving from Nagorno-Karabakh, and Hungary is ready to participate in the medical treatment of the resettled families and to offer summer camps for the children of the affected families next year.

Szijjártó also announced that a cooperation agreement on higher education will be signed, allowing thirty Armenians to study at Hungarian universities on scholarships every year. He also touched on the Armenian minority in Hungary, stressing that the budget support for the community has been increased fourfold over the last thirteen years. He said that he had asked his Armenian counterpart to authorize the establishment of a Hungarian consular representation in Yerevan.
He said that the government would encourage WizzAir to add Budapest as a destination for flights from Yerevan. “Then the direct link could really be physically established. I think that after ten years, this is not a bad step forward for a meeting,” he said.

The minister also underlined that the Caucasus is extremely important for Europe, both because of its proximity and because the region can help to overcome the continent’s energy crisis, and there is a realistic possibility of obtaining new resources from there.
“This is precisely why we Hungarians want Azerbaijan and Armenia to be able to sign a peace agreement as soon as possible, which will then guarantee that people in this region can live in peace and tranquillity for the next decades, and which will enable the next years and decades to be about peaceful economic development in the region,” he said.

The relationship between Hungary and Armenia was severely damaged when in 2004, an Azerbaijani army officer, Ramil Safarov, had murdered his Armenian colleague stationed in the same dormitory while both taking place in an education program in Budapest. During his trial at a Hungarian court, Safarov’s Azerbaijani defender had argued that in their native country, killing an Armenian does not count as a crime. The perpetrator was eventually sentenced to 30 years in prison.

In 2012, on the basis of a bilateral agreement, Safarov was allowed back home with the Azeri authorities’ promise that he would serve the rest of his sentence in a domestic prison. On his return, however, President Ilham Aliyev had granted Safarov immediate mercy. In a reaction to this, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan then announced that his country would sever all diplomatic and official relations with Hungary.