LONDON (RFE/RL) — The British government has appointed an ethnic Armenian diplomat as the United Kingdom’s new ambassador to Armenia.
A government statement released on Monday, August 12, said Alan Gogbashian will replace Judith Farnworth, a fellow diplomat who has served as British ambassador in Yerevan for the last four years.
Gogbashian has headed various divisions at the British Foreign Office since 2014. He was Britain’s deputy head of mission in Morocco from 2011-2014.
The office of Zareh Sinanyan, Armenia’s commissioner general of Diaspora affairs, welcomed Gogbashian’s appointment. “This is the first time that a Diaspora Armenian will be ambassador to Armenia,” the office wrote on its Facebook page.
The development coincided with Armenian President Armen Sarkissian’s latest visit to London. Sarkissian’s office said on Monday that he met there with “a number of high-ranking UK officials.” It did not name any of those officials.
Sarkissian expressed Armenia’s readiness to deepen ties with the UK when he congratulated Boris Johnson on becoming British prime minister late last month.