Remarks by Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan at the ceremony of opening of the Consulate General of Uruguay in Yerevan

16 August, 2019

On August 16, the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Uruguay Zohrab Mnatsakanyan and Rodolfo Nin Novoa participated in the opening ceremony of the Consulate General of Uruguay in Yerevan.

Minister Mnatsakanyan delivered welcoming remarks:

Distinguished Minister, 

Dear Rodolfo, 

Distinguished Ambassadors,

Ladies Ambassadors,

Distinguished Consul, 

Today is, first of all, an important day for you and a great thrill for all of us.

Dear Friends, Members of the National Assembly of Armenia,

It is very inspiring to see here our good friend Vladimir Vardanyan, the Chairman of the Standing Committee on State and Legal Affairs and the Chairman of the Armenian-Uruguayan Friendship Group from the Armenian side, to see my compatriots who joined us for a joint celebration.

Once again I would like to greet my colleague, Rodolfo, in Armenia, and thank him for this visit.

An exceptional event in Armenian-Uruguayan relations is happening today. The Consulate General of the Eastern Republic of Uruguay is being opened in Armenia. Congratulating all of us on this occasion, I wish a successful and productive mission to Eduardo Rosenbrock, the newly appointed Consul General. I would also like to express my gratitude to the Ambassador of Uruguay to Armenia Mr. Carlos Sgarbi, and to the Ambassador of Armenia to Uruguay, Mrs. Esthera Mkrtumyan. You are the ones who directly build, enrich the substance with your daily work aimed at advancing the Armenian-Uruguay friendly relations.

Eduardo, I can assure you that in your work you will enjoy the full support of the Armenian authorities and the Foreign Ministry, and I am confident that you will make a significant contribution to the strengthening of the Armenian-Uruguay friendly relations.

Since the establishment of diplomatic relations, both Armenia and Uruguay went through the long and eventful course. But it would be wrong to say that our friendship began only two and a half decades ago. Its roots are deeper; when he first Armenian - the survivor of the 1915 Genocide set his foot on the remote but hospitable coasts of Uruguay and sought a new opportunity to live a dignified, safe life there. It could not be otherwise in a country based on the noble ideals of the great democratic and humanist, the national hero of Uruguay José Cervasio Artigas.

It is no secret to anyone that every Armenian also has a great emotional connection to Uruguay as a country which in 1965 started the process of international recognition of the Armenian Genocide. I also had the opportunity to share with Rudolph the story of what was happening here in 1965: as well as about the importance of Uruguay's recognition of the Genocide in the Soviet Union. It has become a foundation for building what we have today: the Genocide Memorial built in 1967.

As Foreign Minister, I would like to gratefully acknowledge the support of Uruguay in recent years to Armenia's efforts towards the installment of genocide prevention mechanisms on the international agenda.

With regards to the Armenian-Uruguayan interstate relations, I must note that over the past quarter of a century we have been able to establish mutually beneficial cooperation and close partnership. They are based on a common value system, the same democratic principles. The political dialogue is of constant and intense nature. Our cooperation within international organizations has accumulated rich traditions. The legal framework between our countries tends to expand. Strong links have been established between the legislative bodies of our countries.

We have many prospects for cooperation in the spheres of industry, agriculture, information and high technology, healthcare and more.

I would like to particularly reflect on our cooperation in the humanitarian field: science, education, culture, sports, and tourism.

During this visit, we discussed quite ambitious projects in other areas as well. I am sure that the "La Cumparsita" and the songs of Carlos Gardel will be played more often. And I'm also sure that Uruguay will hear more about Armenian culture - Aram Khachatrian, Arno Babajanyan, and other Armenian masters.

The scope of our cooperation is quite broad indeed.

I cannot fail to mention the important role our compatriots play in our relations with Uruguay.

As Rodolfo has already mentioned Uruguay is a homeland for our twenty thousand compatriots, and that is not merely a number. They are honest, hard-working, dedicated citizens of Uruguay, who fully contribute to the development of our brotherly Uruguay and stay as very profound Armenians by preserving their identity.

My colleague gave some examples: Minister Lilian Keshishian, University Rector Roberto Markarian. We have another compatriot who plays a very important role in our cooperation in the field of sport - Roberto Markarian's brother Sergio Markarian, who is a world-renowned football coach. And we have recently announced our ambitions in this field.

The Armenian community has been and remains an important bridge in strengthening and deepening relations and friendship between our two peoples, and I am deeply grateful to them.

In conclusion, my dear Rodolfo, I would like to once again thank you for the opening of the Consulate General of Uruguay, to congratulate all of us, as well as my good friends, the representatives of the Armenian diplomatic corps. The diplomatic community is obviously growing.

And, Minister, I wish you a successful return to your homeland. We have already outlined our next steps aimed at deepening relations between our two peoples, two countries.

Thank you.


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