John Heffern: Obviously, the country’s competitive advantage is not natural resources or infrastructure. In my opinion, it is people, and the government should provide opportunities for these talented people to succeed.

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Mr. Hovik Musayelyan will host the US Ambassador to Armenia, Mr. John Heffern.

Hovik Musayelyan: Dear Mr. Ambassador, first of all, I would like to inform you that within the Dialogue we have discussed issues of management in different spheres and touched upon numerous problems of our country. Meeting with you is an excellent opportunity to expand the range of topics, so I suggest we discuss diplomatic activities as well, namely the role of the head of a diplomatic corps and the subjective factor of an individual in the complex process of establishing rapport, dialogue and mutual understanding between two countries. Armenia is a small country, however, historically if a country like the USA sends an Ambassador to Armenia it means that they consider the opinion of the diaspora and lobbying groups of that country, as well as personal attitudes of the proposed candidate concerning a series of sensitive matters for the Armenians. We all know that recent appointments of ambassadors have been actively debated, various factors and considered, thus, it is particularly interesting that your appointment was quietly accepted. However, this is just one side of the problem, because the way you would be received in Armenia was equally important. To sum up, we would not be mistaken to say that, first and foremost, of course, the US Ambassador to Armenia reports to the State Department, but he/she also is responsible for the concerns of the Armenian community in the US, as well as he/she should contribute to the development of diplomatic relations between two countries.
I have happened to communicate with the US Ambassadors since 1993, when I was Assistant of Deputy Prime Minister, later as the Head of Foreign relations at Yerevan municipality and after that, when I started my career in the American companies. I can testify that in a short time you have earned respect of the Armenian business community. How could you manage to settle into a brand new environment so quickly? Continue reading

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