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Introduction: Armenia prides itself on being the first nation to formally adopt Christianity (early 4th century). Despite periods of autonomy, over the centuries Armenia came under the sway of various empires including the Roman, Byzantine, Arab, Persian, and Ottoman. During World War I in the western portion of Armenia, Ottoman Turkey instituted a policy of forced resettlement coupled with other harsh practices that resulted in an estimated 1 million Armenian deaths. The eastern area of Armenia was ceded by the Ottomans to Russia in 1828; this portion declared its independence in 1918, but was conquered by the Soviet Red Army in 1920. Armenian leaders...

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Economic Overview: After a difficult period from 1991 to 1993, during which time Armenia fought a war with Azerbaijan and began the transition to a market based economy, the Armenian economy grew at an average rate of 5.4 percent from 1994 to 2000 and at 12 percent from 2001 to 2007. Real GDP is expected to slow to 1-3 percent in 2009-10. Inflation is forecast to shrink to 3.6percent.

Agriculture is still the largest employer, with other significant sectors including construction and mining of non-ferrous metals (Armenian mines produce copper, zinc, gold, and lead). Remittances from the Armenian diaspora have played a major role in driving ...

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Government and Political Conditions: Armenians voted overwhelmingly for independence in a September 1991 referendum, followed by a presidential election in October 1991 that gave 83% of the vote to Levon Ter-Petrossian. Ter-Petrossian had been elected head of government in 1990, when the Armenian National Movement defeated the Communist Party. Ter-Petrossian was re-elected in 1996 in a disputed election. Following public ...

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International Relations: Relations with Neighbours

The UK recognised Armenia on 31 December 1991 and diplomatic relations were established soon afterwards. There is an Armenian Embassy in London. The first resident British Ambassador, David Miller OBE, arrived in Yerevan in July 1995 (the Ambassador in Moscow had previously been cross-accredited).

Cultural Relations

A Cultural Agreement between the UK and Armenia was signed in London on 9 February 1994. The British Council opened in June 2001 in Yerevan. The British Council in Armenia aim to create an enduring partnership between the UK and Armenia in the ...

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Armenian civilization had its beginnings in the sixth century B.C. In the centuries following, the Armenians withstood invasions and nomadic migrations, creating a unique culture that blended Iranian social and political structures with Hellenic -- and later Christian -- literary traditions. For two millennia, independent Armenian states existed sporadically in the region between the northeastern ...

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Area Handbook Series
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