On the 21st of September, 1991 the people of Armenia voted in a referendum to proclaim independence from the Soviet Union.
32 years ago, the Armenian nation realised its centuries-old dream of re-establishing statehood and deciding its own destiny.
Throughout these years our country has faced numerous challenges and our people have gone through enormous hardships, but the resolve of Armenian people to live in a free and independent Armenian state is unshakable.
Since its independence, Armenia has been a responsible member of the International community that respects its international obligations and is committed to upholding international peace and security.
The vision and policy of the Republic of Armenia is aimed at strengthening the country’s security and stability, maintaining domestic and external favourable conditions for the development of the country, deepening engagement in the international organisations and processes, strengthening co-operation with the friendly and partner states, as well as resolving regional problems peacefully and creating an atmosphere of co-operation.
Armenia has full membership status in a number of international organisations, such as The United Nations, the Council of Europe, the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Collective Security Treaty Organisation and the Eurasian Economic Union etc, and observer status in some others.
Armenia as a member of the International community firmly supports rules-based international order and the full and comprehensive implementation of international treaties and conventions states are party to.
One of the main foreign policy priorities of Yerevan is supporting the maintenance of international peace and security. In this regard, the participation of Armenia in UN Peacekeeping operations is an important contribution to this end.
Today Armenia participates in the NATO peacekeeping mission in Kosovo and in United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), the peacekeeping unit of the RA Armed Forces was also included in the Northern Command of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.
Armenia is committed to contributing to the joint efforts of the international community in the fight against terrorism, which seriously threatens international peace and security. In this regard, Armenia greatly appreciates the stabilising political role of Egypt in maintaining and fostering security and co-operation in the Middle East, Africa and beyond, with its balanced, peace-oriented foreign policy as well as its effective role and experience in countering terrorism and extremism.
From the perspective of ensuring the prosperity and sustainable development of the country, Armenia continues to strengthen its state institutions, consolidate democracy and develop its economy, being committed to the goals of the Sustainable Development Agenda.
In 2022 Armenian economy posted 12.6 percent real GDP growth and economic activity has maintained strong momentum in 2023 as well, with around 7.2 percent GDP growth anticipated by the end of the year.
Based on the universal values, Armenia is a strong supporter of the mutually reinforcing agendas of the protection of human rights. The election of Armenia to the Human Rights Council for the term of 2020-2022, by a significant majority of votes, was a strong testimony to the recognition by the international community of Armenia’s democratic transformation and substantial progress in terms of protection and promotion of human rights and fundamental freedoms. In the course of its membership in the Human Rights Council, Armenia focused on delivering its pledges and commitments, in particular by addressing the issues of prevention of genocide and mass atrocities, countering hate crimes targeting ethnic and religious groups, protecting the rights of women and youth, building peaceful and inclusive societies.
As one could observe, Armenia and Egypt have very similar foreign policy goals and share common values that serve as a basis for our close co-operation in multilateral fora, as well as bilaterally.
Needless to say, that Yerevan is interested in expanding and further developing co-operation with Cairo in every possible sphere. From the very first days of independence Armenia has strived to build good relations with the Middle East and the Arab World has occupied a special place in our foreign policy agenda.
Armenia has diplomatic relations with almost all Arab states, currently there are eleven Armenian diplomatic representations, including three General Consulates, operating in the region.
Armenia has established effective co-operation also with the League of Arab states, one of the best manifestations of which was the participation of our Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan in the 159th Ministerial Session of the Council of the League of Arab States as a guest speaker.
On top of that, there are vibrant Armenian communities all over the region, including Egypt, that serve as a bridge between Armenia and the Arab states, contributing to the development of our interstate relations. Meanwhile, the fact that the very first Embassy of Armenia in the Middle East was opened in Cairo back in 1992 speaks volumes about the special importance that Yerevan has and continues to attach to its relations with Egypt.
Throughout the last 30 years, three Armenian presidents have visited Egypt and recently, in January 2023, the President of the Arab Republic of Egypt paid an official visit to Yerevan. This visit was historic, since it was the first ever visit of an Egyptian president to Armenia.
The President of Egypt Abdel Fattah El Sisi had meetings with President of Armenia Vahagn Khachaturyan, as well as with Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan. Thus, I would like to say that the historic visit of President Abdel Fattah El Sisi last January, as well as the visit of the Armenian President to Egypt in 2022 to attend COP-27, raised the Armenian-Egyptian political dialogue to a new level.
Overall, evaluating the relations between Armenia and Egypt, I am contented that today, as we celebrate the 32nd anniversary of our independence, I can proudly state that Armenia has such a reliable partner as Egypt. We greatly appreciate the sincere friendship of Egypt, especially nowadays, when Armenia is going through very difficult times:
The 44-day war unleashed in 2020 by Azerbaijan, with the direct support of Türkiye, against Nagorno Karabakh, has had devastating effects not only for the Armenians of Nagorno Karabakh but also for the Republic of Armenia.
Furthermore, the Azerbaijani leadership, apparently not being satisfied with the results of the war, made several encroachments also to the sovereign territories of the Republic of Armenia and occupied a part of them, thus trying to achieve their aggressive, maximalist goals.
To this very moment official Baku continues its warmongering, Armenophobic rhetoric and military aggressions against both Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh. For over nine months now Azerbaijan, breaking the tripartite ceasefire agreement between the Prime Minister of Armenia, President of Russia and President of Azerbaijan and disregarding the binding decision of the International Court of Justice, has blocked the Lachin Corridor, the only road connecting Nagorno Karabakh to Armenia and the rest of the world, thus trying to ethnically cleanse Nagorno Karabakh and uproot Armenians from their millennia-old motherland. This is what Armenia and Armenians have to deal with today, in the 21st century, just over 100 years after suffering genocide at the hands of Ottoman Turks.
Nevertheless, all of this just showcases that having an independent Armenian state has never been merely a whim or some demonstration of nationalism or national pride, but it is an existential necessity for Armenian people which they reinstated 32 years ago on this very day.
The resilience, strength and diligence that our people demonstrate today allow me to be confident that we are capable of overcoming all these difficulties and building a better future not only for Armenia but for the whole region and beyond.
Of course, this cannot be achieved singlehandedly and Armenia counts on the support of its international partners and friends, including Egypt.
Ambassador of Armenia