A U.S. Embassy-sponsored concert, “Holiday Magic,” dazzled the Armenian public with American and Armenian Christmas music performed by talented up-and-coming Armenian bands and musicians. The festive event marked the end of a yearlong celebration of America’s 25 years of partnership and friendship with an independent and sovereign Republic of Armenia, using song, verse, dancing, and laughter to send us merrily into the New Year.
“For the past year, the U.S. Embassy has been focused on highlighting the strong partnership between our two countries and the significant accomplishments we’ve achieved together over the past quarter century,” said U.S. Ambassador to Armenia Richard M. Mills, Jr. “From the more than $1 billion dollars in USAID support, to our strong military cooperation, varied academic and cultural exchanges, English language programs, and growing U.S. trade and investment partnership, the United States has had a noticeable impact on Armenia’s development.”
The concert featured an impressive lineup of Armenian musical talent, including Sona Rubenyan, Masha Mnjoyan, Narine Dovlatyan, Grigor Kyokchyan, Gor Sujyan, Miqayel Voskanyan, Children’s Choir Kamerton and Old Band. Emcees Hayk Petrosyan and Samvel Topalyan kept the mood light and festive, using comedic sketches to highlight cultural differences as well as the strong camaraderie that exists between our two countries. Their witty commentary also showcased significant U.S.-Armenia accomplishments over the past 25 years.
The United States was one of the first countries to formally recognize the Republic of Armenia, on December 25, 1991, three months after Armenia declared independence, and one of the first to open an Embassy in Yerevan.
See attachment for a few milestones in the bilateral relationship.
- USAID has provided over $1.1 billion to improve the lives of the Armenian people, supporting their efforts to strengthen democratic, economic, and social governance.
- USAID helped extend free primary health care to Armenian citizens and contributed to establishing a competitive private sector, reforming the energy sector, transforming the tax code, strengthening rural economies across Armenia, and fostering civil society, independent media, and civic engagement.
- USAID helped to launch the American University of Armenia and support its growth, and has modernized the Armenian American Wellness Center to become a state-of –the art diagnostic facility.
- The U.S. Embassy has helped secure U.S. investment in Armenia – more than $600 million dollars in just the past two years. This creates jobs for Armenians around the country and improves livelihoods.
- Through the U.S. Embassy’s academic and professional exchange programs, more than 4,000 Armenians have visited the United States, and hundreds of American students, scholars, artists, and performers have shared American culture with the Armenian people.
- The U.S. Embassy’s military cooperation with Armenia is based on a shared vision of a peaceful, sovereign, and prosperous Armenia. The United States has helped the Armenian military improve its readiness for peacekeeping operations around the world, and trained hundreds of soldiers through educational exchange programs.
- The Embassy’s Office of Defense Cooperation has completed 22 humanitarian projects, at a value of over $5 million, including renovating hospitals, schools, orphanages, and fire stations.
- The United States has provided nearly $40 million in training and equipment to help Armenia strengthen rule-of-law and secure its borders.
- More than 1,000 Peace Corps volunteers have lived and worked in towns and villages across Armenia, improving education, enhancing youth and community development, protecting Armenia’s environment, and promoting health care.
- The United States signed a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement with Armenia in 2015, and under our joint economic task force we have realized, among other achievements, the liberalization of the civil aviation sector and Armenia’s admission as an Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) country.
- The United States has implemented 10-year visa validity for Armenians traveling to America, and over the past 25 years, the U.S. Embassy has helped thousands of Armenian tourists and students travel to the United States.