Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian Visits Boston: Community Members, Students Meet at Sunday Reception, Tufts Luncheon


Raffi Festekjian, Paul Boghosian and Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian (Jirair Hovsepian photo)

BOSTON — On Sunday, September 26, Eduard Nalbandian, the minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia, and his wife, Natalya Nalbandian, and an official delegation arrived in Boston after a week of talks at the United Nations headquarters in New York. Upon their arrival by train from New York, they were greeted by Ambassador Tatoul Markarian, Armenia’s ambassador to the United States, his wife Anna, philanthropist Nishan Atinizian, Executive Secretary of Tekeyan Cultural Association Kevork Marashlian and member of AGBU New England District Committee Garo Yavshayan.

Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian

The ambassador and his delegation were led to the Armenian Heritage Park on parcel 13 on the Kennedy Greenway, where on September 9, Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II and Massachusetts Governor Duval Patrick presided over a ceremony of blessing.

Nishan and Margrit Atinizian hosted a reception later on Sunday night at the Sheraton Commander Hotel in Cambridge, attended by the leaders of many Armenian-American institutions.

Kevork Marashlian of the Tekeyan Cultural Association with Anna Ohanian Adourian

Master of ceremonies was Carolyn Atinizian, who in her opening remarks said that the common thread joining all those present was “our love for Armenia. We are anxious to find means to contribute to Armenia’s development.”

She noted that there was a “great sense of pride at being in the community,” and that the community appreciates the “deep resolve” of the government in Armenia to safeguard the future of the population and have a positive impact on the region.

From left, Carolyn Atinizian,Margrit Atinizian, Eduard Nalbandian, Nishan Atinizian and John Yardemian

Armenia’s Ambassador to the US Tatoul Markarian

Representing the community organizations, Marashlian welcomed the minister and briefly presented all community organizations’ works. He concurred that the majority in the diaspora look upon the administration of President Serge Sargisian favorably and that they should be able to offer constructive criticism if they disagree. He also suggested, to great applause by the audience, that the Armenian government should consider opening a consulate in Boston, even if only an honorary one.

He praised both Nalbandian and Sargisian for policies which have made Armenia the only country in the world to have positive relations with the US, the European Union, Russia, China and Iran at the same time.

Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian with the members of the Armenian Independent Radio Hour of Boston’s 30th anniversary committee

He also pointed out to Nalbandian that the community here has united for many purposes in the past decade, including the construction of Heritage Park. “There were numerous obstacles,” Marashlian said. “The most important challenge was the effort by Turkey, led by the Turkish Embassy.”

Markarian introduced Nalbandian to the audience. Nalbandian, in turn, offered comments in Armenian about Armenia’s foreign policy, the Protocols and the Azeri resolution at the United Nations aimed against Armenia. However, he asked that the contents of the meeting be off the record. He later took questions from the audience.

Very Rev. Raphael Andonian with Eduard Nalbandian

The following day, Nalbandian discussed the foreign policy of Armenia and its many challenges at a luncheon at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. Dean Stephen Bosworth welcomed the delegation and introduced the minister at the conference.

Nalbandian talked about the process of the Turkish-Armenian relations, the state of those relations now, and the package of three principals set by the chairmen of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group — the US, Russia and France — tasked with resolving the Karabagh issue.