IAF Organizes Interactive Session Titled,
"India-Armenia Relations- Sustaining The Momentum"
June 02, 2016
On 29th May 2016, Indo-Armenian Friendship NGO (IAF) organized an open interactive session in India’s premier Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, titled, "India-Armenia Relations: Sustaining The Momentum" to welcome and congratulate the new Ambassador-Designate of India to Armenia and Georgia, Mr. Yogeshwar Sangwan, who was one of the dignitaries to attend the event. The Program was also attended and addressed by H.E Mr. Armen Martirosyan, Ambassador Extraordinary, and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Armenia in the Republic of India, H.E. Dr. T. Suresh Babu, Outgoing Ambassador of India to Armenia, Georgia and Ambassador-Designate of India in Mongolia, H.E. Mr. Achal Kumar Malhotra, former Ambassador of India in Armenia and Georgia and Mr. Gevorg Haghverdyan, Consul of Armenian Embassy in India.
People who attended the event included members of Indo-Armenian Friendship NGO, Armenian students studying in India, Indian students who had graduated from YSMU, members of the World Organisation of Students and Youth (WOSY), Research scholars from JNU and people from different walks of life interested to know about Indo-Armenian ties. There was an active participation and discussion between present dignitaries and audience on various cultural/ bilateral issues. Unfortunately Ambassador Designate Mr. Yogeshwar Sangwan had to excuse himself earlier due to certain unavoidable circumstances. Before leaving members of IAF had a short but intensive discussion with the Mr. Sangwan about the future course of action in the coming days in Armenia. His Excellency assured IAF and its members of his full support and cooperation during his tenure as Ambassador in Armenia.
Prior to the session, audience got a chance to learn about Armenia and its cultural heritage by the screening of the documentary on Armenia titled, “ Armenia- the Land of Noah”.
The program was opened up by Mrs. Lilit Harutyunyan, member of the Indo-Armenian Friendship NGO who hosted the event and welcomed everyone present. Dignitaries were presented bouquets by IAF members. Mrs Lilit briefed the audience about the panel discussion, underlined the importance of such initiatives and emphasized on the relevance of IAF in strengthening Indo-Armenian ties.
Mr. Rananjay Anand, co-founder and President of IAF opened the discussions by giving a brief history of IAF, its vision and journey from its inception till date. He also updated the audience with IAF's past activities and future planning. Mr. Anand also spoke about how IAF has collaborated with the Indian Embassy in Armenia and successfully executed a number of programs in Armenia, while expressing the desire to also be proactive and be able to successfully execute a number of programs in India. He expressed his gratitude to all the Ambassadors present for their constant support and encouragement to IAF and promised that the organization will continue to strive to meet its goals and commitments. He also assured His Excellencies of IAF utmost cooperation in all areas.
H.E. Mr. Armen Martirosyan, Ambassador of Armenia to India spoke extensively about the centuries-old ties of India and Armenia while highlighting on the great contribution Armenians have made in India, testimonials of which are still found in various parts of the country.
His Excellency also reiterated on the friendly relationship India and Armenia continuously enjoy since the establishment of bilateral relations after the independence of Armenia in 1991.
His Excellency also mentioned the fact that Armenia has time and again explicitly and openly supported India’s bid for UNSC permanent seat.
Ambassador Achal K Malhotra, while wishing Ambassador Designate Mr. Yogeshwar Sangwan success for his new assignment, shared his experiences during his term as Ambassador in Armenia both at the professional level as well as at the personal level. Ambassador Malhotra, who was the Head of Mission in Yerevan when IAF was founded and has been one of its strongest supporters and well wishers congratulated IAF for organizing the event as well as for having come so far from only a Facebook group a few years ago into a successful NGO
Outgoing Ambassador of India to Armenia and Georgia and Ambassador Designate of India to Mongolia, Dr. T. Suresh Babu expressed his gratitude to IAF for all their cooperation during his tenure and expressed his saddness that he had to leave Armenia as he had fallen in love with the country and more importantly her people.
"I now consider myself a member of IAF, a part of this movement to bring our countries together and even as an Ambassador in Mongolia I will do everything I can do to promote Armenia there", said the Ambassador. He extended his best wishes to the Mr. Yogeshwar Sangwan and assured Mr. Armen Martirosyan his full support and cooperation in the future. Ambassador Babu also remembered when IAF had organized a similar interactive session in JNU back in December 2012 when he was appointed as Ambassador of India to Armenia and Georgia. He expressed his nostalgia, remembering how his journey as Ambassador started from the same premises of the university attending the same program organized for him by IAF. Read Here
After having delivered their enlightening addresses, the speakers engaged themselves in an even more gripping question and answer session with the audience, who had a number of questions for the panelists, ranging from bilateral agreements, scholarships, and language barriers, to business and even Diaspora, which the panelists were more than happy to answer. There was a significant warmth, harmony and agreement observed throughout the discussion from both the side.
What followed was another milestone achievement for IAF. The three Ambassadors launched Indo-Armenia Friendship NGO's new website - www.india-armenia.com. Up until now, IAF was operating mainly on its blog which had a limited reach to audience and stakeholders. With the launch of a new website, a new area of opportunity has opened up for IAF in carrying out the news of its various functions to everyone and gives an opportunity for people to connect with the NGO easier. The website, which was made by Mr. Karen Mkrtchyan, IAF’s National Coordinator (India), will also help in reaching out to the public who have the similar drive to see India-Armenia relations stand out on the world map.
Ms. Anush Gasparyan, who is an active member of IAF and persues Phd in Law at the University of Delhi delivered the closing remarks by reiterating the importance of such events and thanked all the dignitaries and attendees for making the event a great success.
The session ended with High Tea, where the event participants got a chance to meet each other and had informal discussion on various points.
Indo-Armenian Friendship NGO wishes His Excellency Mr. Yogeshwar Sangwan immense success during his tenure as Ambassador of India in Armenia. We look forward to working with His Excellency.