BUENOS AIRES (Azatutyun) — Argentina’s new President Javier Milei met with his Armenian counterpart Vahagn Khachatryan and called for closer ties between their countries ahead of his inauguration ceremony held on Sunday, December 10.
Khachatryan was among a handful of foreign leaders, including Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who attended the ceremony held in Buenos Aires. According to the Armenian presidential press office, he was the first of those dignitaries to be received by Milei in his new capacity.
“I have been to Armenia and am familiar with Armenia,” the office quoted Milei as saying. “I am confident that we will further deepen our relations.”
The Armenian president, who has largely ceremonial powers, likewise expressed confidence that the two governments “will do everything to raise the Armenian-Argentinian relationship to a higher level.” He thanked Argentina for its “support that has been shown to Armenia in recent years.”
Khachatryan held a separate meeting with the South American country’s outgoing President Alberto Fernandez and gave him an Armenian state medal, the Order of Honor. Fernandez has repeatedly denounced Azerbaijan’s blockade of the Lachin corridor that preceded its September military offensive in Nagorno-Karabakh.
Armenia has long maintained warm relations with Argentina as well as neighboring Brazil and Uruguay cemented by the existence of influential Armenian communities in the three nations. There are an estimated 120,000 ethnic Armenians living in Argentina. Most of them are descendants of survivors of the 1915 Armenian genocide in Ottoman Turkey.