Ambassador Dr. Arman Kirakossian

Veteran Diplomat, Scholar Dr. Arman Kirakossian Dies

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YEREVAN (Combined Sources) — Ambassador Dr. Arman Kirakossian, Armenia’s representative to the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, died in London on July 6 after a lengthy illness. He was 63.

His funeral took place in Yerevan on July 12 at St. Sargis Church, followed by a farewell ceremony at the Pantheon on July 13.

President Armen Sarkissian signed a decree on posthumously awarding Kirakossian the Order of Honor for his dedicated diplomatic service. The president handed over the Order to Kirakossian’s family on July 23. (see Armenian-language video below)

“It seems Arman should have received this Order years ago, but I think it is never late because Arman Kirakossian’s life will continue, and our appreciation to his activity as a scientist and diplomat, as a person, will continue. And not only today, in the future as well we will gather to appreciate the bright life of our friend and colleague,” Sarkissian said. The ceremony of handing the Order was also attended by Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, representatives of diplomatic service, historians and the friends of late Ambassador.

Sarkissian participated at the farewell ceremony for his old friend, as did Prime Minister Nikol Pasyinyan. Mnatsakanyan, Defense Minister Davit Tonoyan, Minister of Finance Atom Janjughazyan and a number of incumbent and former officials also came to honor the memory of the diplomat. Mnatsakanyan told the reporters that he personally knew Kirakossian and his loss is also a great for the diplomatic field of Armenia.

In addition, Sir Alan Duncan, Minister of State of UK for Europe and the Americas at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, offered his condolences over the death of Kirakossian.

The late Ambassador of Armenia to the UK, Dr. Arman Kirakossian, left, with Sir Alan Duncan, Minister of State of UK for Europe and the Americas

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“I was saddened to learn of the death of H.E. Dr. Arman Kirakossian, the serving ambassador of Armenia and a great friend to the UK. I have spoken to the Foreign Minister of Armenia H.E Zohrab Mnatsakanyan to pass on condolences on behalf of Her Majesty’s Government and have offered our assistance at this difficult time. Our thoughts are with the late Ambassador’s family and friends,” Duncan said.

In his remarks, Sarkissian said, “This is a difficult day. We are bidding farewell to Arman Kirakossian; his life here, in the fatherland, has come to an end. But a new life of Arman Kirakossian, the legend, has begun. Just as on June 20, 1985 the life of his father, John Kirakossian ended, but John Kirakossian the legend began, Arman Kirakossian the legend begins today. Each of us should continue to walk with Arman Kirakossian the legend. His friends and colleagues should continue to walk with Arman Kirakossian the legend – our Armenian diplomats, the state, and ordinary people who knew Arman,” President Sarkissian said. He characterized him as a wonderful, fantastic friend, one of our best ambassadors, honest, crystal clear, patriotic and serious person, with multiple merits, a great professional, and a brilliant scholar.

“Not only as a friend but also as the President of Armenia, thinking of Arman Kirakossian, I have one word on my mind which is essential — Arman Kirakossian, like his father, was a statesman, dedicated to our people, nation, and statehood.”

A requiem service was held in Washington led by Ambassador of Armenia in the US Varuzhan Nersesyan, Armenian Embassy staff, Knights and Daughters of Vartan, Tekeyan Cultural Association Central Board of the USA and Canada, St. Mary’s Parish Council and Rev. Hovsep Karapetyan.

After the Divine Liturgy, Karapetyan and Nersesyan spoke about the ambassador and his legacy.

Kirakossian was appointed Armenia’s ambassador to the United States on October 22, 1999 and presented his credentials to President Bill Clinton on February 3, 2000. Prior to assuming this position, Kirakossian served as Armenia’s ambassador to Greece from July 1994 to October 1999. In March 1999, he also assumed the duties of the Dean of Diplomatic Corps in Athens, Greece.

Kirakossian was also accredited to Cyprus, Slovenia, Croatia, Albania and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

From 1991 to 1994, he served as First Deputy Foreign Minister, and, from October 1992 to February 1993, he held the post of Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Ambassador Dr. Arman Kirakossian this spring with members of the London Armenian community

Before embarking on a diplomatic career at the Foreign Ministry of Armenia, Kirakossian held several high-level academic positions at the Armenian National Academy of Sciences. He was associate director of the Armenian Diaspora Studies Department from 1990 to 1991 and served on Advisory Panel on Science and International Relations at the Armenian Government from 1986 to 1990.He was Senior Fellow, then Project Director at the Center of Scientific Information for Social Sciences at the Armenian National Academy of Sciences from 1980 to 1986.

Dr. Kirakossian was the author of many books and more than 100 scientific publications.

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