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February 9, 2009

ACNIS Director Richard Giragosian Presents Briefing at Yerevan State University

Yerevan—In a presentation at a round table discussion organized by the Center for Civilization and Cultural Studies at Yerevan State University and the Cultural Council of the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Armenian Center for National and International Studies (ACNIS) Director Richard Giragosian reviewed the outlook for US-Iranian relations and assessed the implications for Armenia.

Referring to “the new message of hope and promise for change” expressed in recent statements by American President Barack Obama, ACNIS Director Giragosian pointed to a “new opportunity, not to be missed” in launching a fresh dialogue between the United States and Iran.

The ACNIS Director added that the Obama Administration was preparing a new effort of “vigorous diplomacy that includes direct talks with Iran.”  Giragosian noted that “Armenia was in a unique position to help support such a dialogue,” explaining that “Armenia, and no other country in this region, holds the strategic potential as a neutral broker, capable of serving as a bridge or platform for the West to engage Iran.”

But the ACNIS Director further stated that it was “imperative for Armenia to be included in regional economic and energy plans” and warned that, after years of blockade imposed by Turkey and Azerbaijan, “the international community should not squander the chance to provide landlocked Armenia with a direct role in regional development.”

The round table event was held at Yerevan State University’s Center for Civilization and Cultural Studies and convened to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the Islamic revolution in Iran.

Founded in 1994 by Armenia’s first Minister of Foreign Affairs Raffi K. Hovannisian and supported by a global network of contributors, ACNIS serves as a link between innovative scholarship and the public policy challenges facing Armenia and the Armenian people in the post-Soviet world. It also aspires to be a catalyst for creative, strategic thinking and a wider understanding of the new global environment. In 2009, the Center focuses primarily on civic education, democratic development, conflict resolution, and applied research on critical domestic and foreign policy issues for the state and the nation.

For further information on the Center call (37410) 52-87-80 or 27-48-18; fax (37410) 52-48-46; email root@acnis.am or info@acnis.am; or visit www.acnis.am.

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