TEL AVIV (RFE/RL) — Armenia has reportedly inaugurated its embassy in Israel one year after deciding to upgrade diplomatic relations with the Jewish state.
The opening of the Armenian Embassy in Tel Aviv, initially slated for the beginning of this year, was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic.
A Russian-language news website, Vesti Izrail, reported that a senior Israeli Foreign Ministry official attended the opening ceremony held on Thursday, September 17. It quoted the official, Itzhak Carmel-Kagan, as saying that the embassy will facilitate a “constructive dialogue” between the two countries.
The Armenian mission located inside a Tel Aviv office building began providing consular services last month. Also, Ambassador Armen Smbat met with leaders of the Armenian community in the Holy Land, including Jerusalem-based Patriarch Nourhan Manougian.
The Armenian government decided to open the embassy in September 2019, saying that it will not only “give new impetus” to its relations with Israel but also help to secure the Armenian Apostolic Church’s continued presence in the Holy Land.
The decision was hailed by Israeli leaders but criticized by some officials in Iran, a key foreign partner of Armenia. The Armenian ambassador to Iran, Artashes Tumanyan, assured a senior Iranian Foreign Ministry official in June that Yerevan remains committed to its “friendly” relationship with the Islamic Republic despite its desire to improve Armenian-Israeli ties.