Panel Discussion Dedicated to the 25th Anniversary of Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between India and Armenia
March 16, 2017
2017 marks the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between India and Armenia. To mark the occasion, Indo-Armenian Friendship NGO joined hands with the Armenian Cultural Centre and the World Organization of Students and Youth (WOSY) to organise a panel discussion dedicated to the landmark achievement of close diplomatic ties enjoyed by our countries.
This close collaboration of the three organisations brought together a reputed and vibrant panel of individuals who spoke elaborately on the close ties between India and Armenia, bought from historical as well as bilateral point of view, and also the future plan of steps that need to be taken to take this
The Panel discussion was held on the 16th of March, 2017 in the School of International Studies (SIS) of the Jawaharlal Nehru University, the country’s premier institution. relation to new heights.
The program kicked off by welcome addresses from Ms Gayane Movsisyan, President of the Armenian Cultural Centre and Mr Rananjay Anand, President of Indo-Armenian Friendship NGO.
We were fortunate to have Ms Chitra Suresh, Deputy Secretary, Eurasian Division, Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India who graced the occasion as our Chief Guest. Ms Suresh spoke extensively on the Indian Government’s favourable policy viz a vi Armenia and ensured that India is committed to enhancing closer ties with Armenia.
She also spoke about the past ties between both countries and ensured that her Ministry was always committed to doing everything possible to have a stronger bond between our countries.
H.E. Armen Martirosyan, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Government of Armenia to Government of India joined Ms Chitra Suresh on the panel as our Guest of Honour and in turn spoke about the favourable position of the Armenian Government as regards to India and Indo-Armenian ties. The positive role played by the Armenian Community of India towards the development of the country was also well highlighted in His Excellency’s speech, who also mentioned the growing number of Indian Students who visit Armenia for higher education. His Excellency also brought to the attention of the attendees that the number of Indian tourists visiting Armenia had increased considerably, highlighting the fact that more and more Indians were including Armenia in their travel plans. His Excellency also congratulated the organizers of the panel discussion and was happy that there were many students among the attendees as the youth hold the key to strong relations between both our countries
The panel was also made vibrant by the participation of three former Indian Ambassadors to Armenia, who enlightened the attendees with details of the bilateral agreements signed during their tenures and shared their favourable memories during their terms as Ambassadors in Armenia. The list included Ambassador (Rtd) H.E. Mr Bal Anand, the first resident Ambassador to Armenia, who also presented a copy of his book, “Expressions of Freedom” to His Excellency Armen Martirosyan on the occasion.
Mr Bal Anand was also joined by H.E. V.B Soni, who remembered fondly his tenure as the Ambassador of India to Armenia and was delighted to see that Indo-Armenian ties had drawn a lot of interest among the student's and that there were organizations who were interested in celebrating the close ties our countries share.
H.E. Achal Kumar Malhotra, former Ambassador of India to Armenia was also present. It was during the tenure of Ambassador Malhotra that Indo-Armenian Friendship NGO was formed. He was very instrumental in guiding and encouraging us during the initial stages and we are very grateful to him for all the help and support we got from the Indian Embassy during his tenure. He was also instrumental in some very important bilateral developments between our countries and we were fortunate to have him with us to share his experiences and opinions as the Ambassador of Indian to Armenia.
H.E. Yogeshwar Sangwan, the current Ambassador of India to Armenia had sent his wishes and kind regards to the attendees through an audio recording which was played for all the guests present. H.E congratulated the organizers of the panel discussion and greeted his counterparts and the students and guests who were present. He also shared the assurance of the Indian Embassy in supporting any initiative aimed at strengthening Indo-Armenian ties.
Mrs Reena Pandey, a former Ambassador of India to Armenia was also invited but due to the unavoidable circumstances could not attend the event.
Dr Amitabh Singh, Associate Professor of the Centre for Russian and Central Asian Studies, School of International Studies, JNU was the moderator of the panel discussion. He was very instrumental in organising the discussion and ensured the smooth running of the proceedings. Dr Amitabh Singh also took the opportunity to convey to H.E. Armen Martirosyan that the Centre of Russian and Central Asian Studies was always ready to extend its support in any way possible and expressed their readiness to supervise and encourage more research on Armenia.
Ms Naira Mkrtchyan gave a very elaborate presentation on the important Armenians of India and highlighted some of the vibrant chapters of the Armenian community. It is apt to mention that Ms Mkrtchyan has completed her MPhil Degree from the School of International Studies, JNU. Her presentation was also followed by a presentation about the Armenian Cultural Centre followed by the opening of the centre’s official website. The participants, which included students and professors of the university, as well as members of the Armenian Community had many questions and suggestions for the panellists in what was a rather interesting discussion after the panellists had delivered their speeches.
Indo-Armenian Friendship NGO thanks the Armenian Cultural Centre for their initiation of the program as well as the World Organisation of Students and Youth (WOSY) for their collaboration in making the event a successful one. Special thanks to all the panellists for their time out of their busy schedule to join us in the discussion and to all those who attended the event and contributed to the discussions.
Long Live Indo-Armenian Friendship.
Read about the event on the official website of the Armenian Embassy in India HERE