This is my first blog as Ambassador and I want to share a few of my impressions about Britain and Armenia.
We have a great affection for each other. I have been met in Armenia by an immense amount of goodwill simply because I am the British Ambassador. The people who I meet are knowledgeable and attracted to British culture, sport or political life. And then there are the British people for whom Armenia has become a passion. Whether it be Lord Byron, the famous English poet, who learnt Armenian and supported the Armenians’ striving for liberation from foreign rule 200 years ago or Baroness Cox whose sympathy for Armenia and work in support of Armenia of the last 20 years knows no bounds.
We share so much. Although we are at opposite ends of Europe, we draw on a common Christian and artistic heritage. Only in the last few weeks, the performance of Shakespeare’s King John by the Sundukyan theatre company has drawn rave reviews from London critics. And we can learn from each other as we travel the same journey of building and expanding our shared values of democracy and human rights.
We get so much out of our relationship. The Armenian community in Britain is not so numerous but has contributed disproportionately to the British economy, culture and professions. For their part, British companies and brands like HSBC, Debenhams and GSK are making their own contribution to Armenia’s economic development.
I am really looking forward to strengthening this unlikely but rich relationship over the coming years.