Edward Nalbandian has been Foreign Affairs Minister of Armenia since April 2008. Nalbandian studied at the prestigious Moscow State Institute of International Relations and received his PhD (in political science) from the Institute of Oriental Studies at the USSR National Academy of Sciences.
A career diplomat, Nalbandian began working at the Soviet Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the late 1970s, being subsequently posted to Egypt and Lebanon. After Armenia's independence he was invited to work for the Armenian diplomatic service. He was Armenia's Ambassador to Egypt, Morocco and Oman (with residence in Cairo) in 1994-1998. From 1999-2008 he was Ambassador to France.
His international awards include the USSR Friendship of Nations award (1982), Commander of the Legion of Honour of the French Republic (2001), and the Decoration of the Grand Cross of Saint Gregory of the Holy See (2003).
In September 2008 Nalbandian and his Turkish counterpart launched a series of negotiations which bore fruit in the form of two Protocols on the establishment of diplomatic relations between Armenia and Turkey. These were signed on 10 October 2009.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Government House #2,
Republic Square, Yerevan 0010,
Republic of Armenia,
Tel: +374 10 544041,
Fax: +374 10 543925,
Homepage of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs: www.armeniaforeignministry.com
Arman Kirakossian is the Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister of Armenia. He headed the secret negotiations with Turkish diplomats, which paved the way for the "football diplomacy" After 6 September 2008 the negotiations were conducted at the top level by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Armenia and Turkey.
Kirakossian was born in 1956 as the son of John Kirakossian, an eminent scholar and diplomat, who was Minister of Foreign Affairs of Soviet Armenia in 1975-1985. Kirakossian is a historian by education. He has published several dozen articles and monographs on late 19th and early 20th century Armenian history, particularly on the reporting of the Armenian massacres and the Armenian genocide in British and American sources.
In September 1991, immediately after Armenian independence, Kirakossian was invited to join the Foreign Ministry, where he became First Deputy Foreign Minister. From October 1992 to March 1993 Kirakossian served as Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs. He was later posted to Greece and the US. In 2005 he returned to his post as First Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister.
Tel: +374 10 544041 (ext. 309)
Arsen Avagyan is head of the Turkey Section at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He is a leading specialist on Turkey in Armenia. At the Ministry since 1994, he served as the Armenian representative at the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) secretariat in Istanbul from 2001-2005. He has simultaneously taught at Yerevan State University. He has published 5 monographs and more than 30 articles in Armenia, Turkey and Russia.
Tel: +374 10 544041 ext. 261
Tigran Mkrtchyan is the Acting Head of the Ministry's Department of Media, Press and Public Relations, as well as an Advisor to the Minister. He was formerly an analyst for European Stability Initiative (2007-2010) and the Executive Director of the Armenian International Policy Research Group (2006-2008), where he worked on Armenian-Turkish relations, publishing several academic and op-ed articles in Armenia and abroad. He holds an MPhil degree in International Relations from the University of Cambridge (Chevening Scholar), an MA degree in Classics and a BA degree in History from Yerevan State University. His Cambridge thesis entitled NATO and the South Caucasus was published as a monography by the Lambert Academic Publishers (Germany) in 2010. He was a 2006 John Smith Fellow from Armenia and a World Vision Youth Ambassador from Armenia in 1998.
Tel: +374 10 544041 ext. 356
Tigran Balayan is the Spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He has been working at the Ministry since 2002. Balayan is a graduate of the International Relations Faculty of Yerevan State University, from which he also received his PhD. He has authored several articles on Turkish-Armenian normalisation and on Nagorno-Karabakh. He has worked at Armenian diplomatic missions in Russia and Belgium. Balayan also teaches international relations at Yerevan State University.
Tel: +374 10 544041 ext. 214
Key dates in Armenia-Turkey relations 2008-2010
Politics: Institutions and people
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