By Kevork Marashlian
BOSTON — On the heels of successful visits to Frankfurt, Germany and California, Armenian Prime Minister Tigran Sargisian arrived here in the early hours of December 12, and was greeted at Logan International Airport by the Grand Commander of the Knights of Vartan, and Armenia’s ambassador in Washington, Tatoul Markarian.
In the morning, the prime minister and his delegation visited the Armenian Heritage Park and laid flowers at the monument honoring the memory of the Armenian Genocide victims. He was met there by James Kalustian, the chairman of the Armenian Heritage Foundation, who explained to the premier how the park project came to fruition.
The park was opened officially on May 24 by Foreign Minister of Armenia Eduard Nalbandian, at a program in which Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino participated. The park’s architect is Donald Tellalian and the builder of the monument at the center of the park is Aurelian Mardiros.
Later in the morning, Sargisian met with Patrick in the State House. During the meeting, on behalf of the president of Armenia, Sargisian bestowed upon the governor the Mkhitar Gosh medal for services rendered to Armenia and thanked Patrick for his assistance in paving the way for the park and steadfast support of the community. Patrick asked Sargisian to convey his thanks to President Serge Sargisian. The two went on to discuss increasing economic collaboration between Armenia and Massachusetts. Patrick praised the role played by the Armenian community in the public life of the state.
At noon, the prime minister went to Harvard University, where he delivered a talk to former diplomats and faculty at the Kennedy School of Government at a luncheon program closed to the press. The press office of the prime minister in Yerevan issued a statement on the program, noting that, “At the request of the audience, Tigran Sargisian dwelt on the government’s fight against oligarchies and corruption, economic development prospects and the main directions of foreign policy.”
While at Kennedy, he also met with students from Armenia supported by the Luys Foundation.
According to the press office, Sargisian said, “Meetings like this help understand the way decision-makers are thinking.”
Later, Sargisian met with the faculty and stu- dents at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Tufts University.
At MIT, he visited the Media Lab. He also met with MIT economist of Armenian descent, Daron Açemoglu.
In the evening, Sargisian attended a private dinner at the offices of Dr. Noubar Afeyan, managing partner and CEO of Flagship Ventures. During the dinner, he awarded Middlesex County Sheriff Peter Koutoujian with the Mkhitar Gosh medal and Afeyan with the Prime Minister’s Memorable medal.
That night, Sargisian and his entourage traveled to Washington DC, the last stop on the way back to Armenia.