Our Rolex Ambassadors

Editorial, 21 August 2014

It’s axiomatic that a country sends its best to a foreign country to represent the state and the nation. That one person, thousands of miles away from home, has to be exemplary in many ways. He has to be wise, well-educated, prudent, disciplined, sophisticated, and with superb social skills. He has to be well versed in the history of the country where he’s stationed. He also has to be a quick study… and diplomatic.

It’s a tall order.

And yes, an ambassador should also be above reproach.

Yet in the past year a number of Armenian ambassadors have not only failed in their duties but have also blemished the name of Armenia in places like Baghdad, Brussels and Tbilisi.

Editorial, 21 August 2014

It’s axiomatic that a country sends its best to a foreign country to represent the state and the nation. That one person, thousands of miles away from home, has to be exemplary in many ways. He has to be wise, well-educated, prudent, disciplined, sophisticated, and with superb social skills. He has to be well versed in the history of the country where he’s stationed. He also has to be a quick study… and diplomatic.

It’s a tall order.

And yes, an ambassador should also be above reproach.

Yet in the past year a number of Armenian ambassadors have not only failed in their duties but have also blemished the name of Armenia in places like Baghdad, Brussels and Tbilisi.

Murad Muradyan, Armenia’s ambassador to Iraq was recalled recently because he was involved in a massive financial debacle. Muradyan, ostensibly representing Armenia in a turbulent Iraq, spent most of his time playing mogul in Baghdad. He owned hotel complexes, development companies and a medical insurance company in Iraq. Apparently, the overworked “diplomat” still had time to plan a joint business with Mikail Baghdasarov, the disgraced former owner of bankrupt Armavia airlines. Muradyan recently went bankrupt when his grandiose and extracurricular activities fell to pieces.  

Then there is Armenia’s man in Belgium: one Avet Adonts. Ambassador Adonts must be the most punctual ambassador on the international diplomatic row. How else to explain his purchase, in Brussels, of several dozen pricey Rolex watches in one year?  Then perhaps it was a case of “if it’s Tuesday this must be Belgium Watch Sales Day”.

According to European Union regulations, diplomats qualify for a 21% refund on purchases exceeding 300 Euros. Ambassador Adonts and his equally-punctual wife, according to Belgian special services, were buying Rolex watches and diamond jewelry worth 30,000 to 40,000 Euros like there was no tomorrow and taking them to impoverished Armenia. The Belgians eventually asked Armenia’s National Security Service and the Foreign Ministry how could the ambassador make these large purchases with his limited salary. The Belgians also wondered how the enterprising couple had managed to import the luxury items without hindrance from Armenia customs.

Rather than recall Adonts, who also happens to be no less than Armenia’s top diplomat in Europe as the head of the Armenian representation to the EU, “optics be damned” Yerevan appointed the eminent smuggler ambassador to Spain.

Ashot Grigorian, president of the Forum of the Armenian Association of Europe (FAAE), said a few months ago that Armenian ambassadors in Europe were using their position to run their personal business. He added: “…they [the ambassadors] are not carrying out diplomatic activities. Armenian diplomats are doing nothing, but running their personal business. They have forgotten their work for the state. They are not capable of dealing with serious processes because diplomats are a random choice in Armenia, without diplomatic education or economic experience.” Mr. Grigorian condemned all Armenia diplomats in Europe except for Ambassador Armen Kirakosyan in Austria.

It would be redundant to point out that good relations with Georgia are extremely important to Armenia. Thus it’s imperative that Yerevan have a superb ambassador in Tbilisi. And who did Armenia appoint as ambassador to Georgia this June? No other than former weightlifting champion Yuri Vardanyan who had become minister of sports barely a year ago.

The Armenian and English languages have identical sayings about the fish being rotten starting from the head. Why wouldn’t Armenian diplomatic posse not be corruption-ridden when former Prime Minister, Tigran Sarkissian, has been implicated in a multi-million offshore financial finagling? A scandal which the government has been trying to hide to protect Mr. Sarkissian. But despite the dark clouds hanging over his head, Mr. Sarkissian was appointed ambassador to the United States. The appointment decree was signed by no other than his buddy, President Serge Sarkissian. Armenian Forum in the United States tried to stop the appointment through a petition but to no avail. Some observers alleged that the appointment was intended to protect—through diplomatic immunity—the suspect former foreign minister.

The three key ministries of any country are finance, defense, and foreign relations.

We have seen that there’s something rotten in Armenia’s foreign affairs ministry.

We know that Armenia’s finances are a disaster.

When two of the three key ministries have a big question mark hanging over their heads, how can we believe that our ministry of defense is robust? How can we believe Armenia’s minister of defense when he assures us that Armenia can beat the Azeris hands down if weapons-laden Aliyev decides to reach for his gun?

 

10 comments
  1. The Ambassadors

    "Our Rolex Ambassadors" is a timely editorial. Sorry about the double entendre. In addition to the corruption mentioned, far too many of our ambassadors come across as icy Soviet commissars with minimum social skills and a maximum dose of authoritarianism and sense of entitlement. They also have difficulty communicating with Diaspora Armenians. One wonders that since that's the case regarding fellow Armenians, how do they communicate with odars? 

  2. Warm Beds

    Sadly, we have a bunch of morons running the foreign ministry.They are only interested in festering their warm nests. They have nothing to do with protecting and advancing Armenian national interests.

    This is the outcome of fraudulent and corrupt regimes.Nothing positive can change with this corrupt bunch.

    Armenia is losing, on average, 60,000 people per year as citizens vote with their feet and say "NO" to rampant corruption, injustices galore, election fraud, corrupt police and judges. The list is endless, coupled with the fact that we have a morally bankrupt spiritual, the so-called leader. He is just like another of our corrupt oligarchs in the regime.

    To shut the eyes and mouths of the Diaspora they are dishing out state medals and in the process devaluing the state medals' merit.

    At this rate of emigration you don't need to be a genius to work out the outcome in 10 years. There needs to be a radical shake-up of the principles, policies, and personnel, if we ever want to go far and survive. Nothing else will do.

  3. Timely and Bold Editorial

    This editorial is bold and timely.

    We have been and are deferring to the ambassadors of the Republic of Armenia not because they are the representatives of a just government or because they are good persons but because our centuries-old dream of a homeland of our own clouds our better judgment.

  4. Another Ambassador

    You could add Armenia's ambassador to Britain to your list of businessmen "ambassadors", who are neither engaged in state-to-state affairs nor with the local Armenian community. As in the case of  90-year-old Ambassador Charles Aznavour, being a diplomat means tax exemptions and wealth protection.

  5. The head of the FISH is rotten

    That's true 'The fish being rotten starting from the head'.
    Change them. They deserve punishment.
    Those diplomats need tough education and discipline.
     

  6. Disrespect to the Armenia Nation

    What to say about the "Armenian diplomats" when the Armenian people are depopulating their own homeland? One is reflection of the other. But I am proud to get my Armenian passport in homage to my elders and all the martyrs of the  Armenian Genocide. Next year we will celebrate the 100th Anniversary of  the Genocide and we will not give up.

  7. What about the ambassador in the UK

    I just have to add my voice, The ambassador of Armenia in The United Kingdom is among the bunch of morons as well. We have never seen him and he is busy with his gold dealings with the royal family (another cunt by trade). May God help us and I hope there would be  few gutsy people who could virtually [get rid of them] in plain daylight.

  8. Armenian Ambassador to the US too

    The new Armenian ambassador to the US should also be thrown out by Armenian-Americans.

    I would also like to see some ambassadors to Armenia tossed out too, due to moral rectitude on issues such as the Genocide. Start with US Ambassador John Heffern. 

    1. Ayo Hazar “Amot Mezi”

      This is what a Turkish proverb means: "If the khodja (the leader) takes a stinking one step, the djomaat (the followers) take two steps."
      And this is our problem.
       

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