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Armenia prides itself on being the first nation to formally adopt Christianity (early 4th century). Despite periods of autonomy, over the centuries Armenia came under the sway of various empires including the Roman, Byzantine, Arab, Persian, and Ottoman. During World War I in the western portion of Armenia, Ottoman Turkey instituted a policy of forced resettlement coupled with other harsh practices that resulted in at least 1 million Armenian deaths. The eastern area of Armenia was ceded by the Ottomans to Russia in 1828; this portion declared its independence in 1918, but was conquered by the Soviet Red Army in 1920. Armenian leaders remain preoccupied by the long conflict with Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh, a primarily Armenian-populated region, assigned to Soviet Azerbaijan in the 1920s by Moscow. Armenia and Azerbaijan began fighting over the area in 1988; the struggle escalated after both countries attained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. By May 1994, when a cease-fire took hold, ethnic Armenian forces held not only Nagorno-Karabakh but also a significant portion of Azerbaijan proper. The economies of both sides have been hurt by their inability to make substantial progress toward a peaceful resolution. Turkey closed the common border with Armenia in 1994 in support of Azerbaijan in its conflict with Armenia over control of Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding areas, further hampering Armenian economic growth. In 2009, senior Armenian leaders began pursuing rapprochement with Turkey, aiming to secure an opening of the border.


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Government

Country name
Conventional long form Republic of Armenia
Conventional short form Armenia
Local long form Hayastani Hanrapetut'yun
Local short form Hayastan
Former
Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic, Armenian Republic

Government type
Republic

Capital
Name Yerevan
Geographic coordinates 40 10 N, 44 30 E
Time difference
UTC+4 (9 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions
11 provinces (marzer, singular - marz); Aragatsotn, Ararat, Armavir, Geghark'unik', Kotayk', Lorri, Shirak, Syunik', Tavush, Vayots' Dzor, Yerevan

Independence
21 September 1991 (from the Soviet Union)

National holiday
Independence Day, 21 September (1991)

Constitution
Adopted by nationwide referendum 5 July 1995; amendments adopted through a nationwide referendum 27 November 2005

Legal system
Civil law system

International law organization participation
Has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt

Suffrage
20 years of age; universal

Executive branch
Chief of state
President Serzh SARGSIAN (since 9 April 2008)
Head of government
Prime Minister Tigran SARGSIAN (since 9 April 2008)
Cabinet
Council of Ministers appointed by the prime minister
Elections
President elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 19 February 2008 (next to be held in February 2013); prime minister appointed by the president based on majority or plurality support in parliament; the prime minister and Council of Ministers must resign if the National Assembly refuses to accept their program
Election results
Serzh SARGSIAN elected president; percent of vote - Serzh SARGSIAN 52.9%, Levon TER-PETROSSIAN 21.5%, Artur BAGHDASARIAN 16.7%, other 8.9%

Legislative branch
Unicameral National Assembly (Parliament) or Azgayin Zhoghov (131 seats; members elected by popular vote, 90 members elected by party list and 41 by direct vote; to serve five-year terms)
Elections
Last held on 6 May 2012 (next to be held in the spring of 2017)
Election results
Percent of vote by party - HHK 44%, Prosperous Armenia 30.1%, ANC 7.1%, Heritage Party 5.8%, ARF (Dashnak) 5.7%, Rule of Law 5.5%, other 1.8%; seats by party - HHK 70, Prosperous Armenia 36, ANC 7, Heritage Party 5, ARF (Dashnak) 6, Rule of Law 6, independent 1

Judicial branch
Constitutional Court; Court of Cassation (Appeals Court)

Political parties and leaders
Armenian National Congress or ANC (bloc of independent and opposition parties) [Levon TER-PETROSSIAN]; Armenian National Movement or ANM [Ararat ZURABIAN]; Armenian Revolutionary Federation ("Dashnak" Party) or ARF [Hrant MARKARIAN]; Heritage Party [Raffi HOVHANNISIAN]; People's Party of Armenia [Stepan DEMIRCHIAN]; Prosperous Armenia [Gagik TSARUKIAN]; Republican Party of Armenia or HHK [Serzh SARGSIAN]; Rule of Law Party (Orinats Yerkir) [Artur BAGHDASARIAN]

Political pressure groups and leaders
Aylentrank (Impeachment Alliance) [Nikol PASHINIAN]; Yerkrapah Union [Manvel GRIGORIAN]

International organization participation
ADB, BSEC, CE, CIS, CSTO, EAEC (observer), EAPC, EBRD, FAO, GCTU, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, MIGA, NAM (observer), OAS (observer), OIF, OPCW, OSCE, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the us
Chief of mission Ambassador Tatoul MARKARIAN
Chancery
2225 R Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
Telephone [1] (202) 319-1976
FAX [1] (202) 319-2982
Consulate(s) general Los Angeles

Diplomatic representation from the us
Chief of mission Ambassador John HEFFERN
Embassy 1 American Ave., Yerevan 0082
Mailing address
American Embassy Yerevan, US Department of State, 7020 Yerevan Place, Washington, DC 20521-7020
Telephone [374](10) 464-700
FAX [374](10) 464-742

Flag description
Three equal horizontal bands of red (top), blue, and orange; the color red recalls the blood shed for liberty, blue the Armenian skies as well as hope, and orange the land and the courage of the workers who farm it

National symbol(s)
Mount Ararat; eagle; lion

National anthem
Name
"Mer Hayrenik""(Our Fatherland)
Lyrics/music
Mikael NALBANDIAN/Barsegh KANACHYAN
Note
Adopted 1991; based on the anthem of the Democratic Republic of Armenia (1918-1922) but with different lyrics


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  Armenia (Yerevan):


  GPS points from Armenia (Yerevan)

Gora Kara-toprakh Syunik'i Marz

Shishtapa Shiraki Marz

Tzovagyugh Geghark'unik'i Marz

Kamyshlu Armaviri Marz

Tazagyukh Syunik'i Marz

Karmravan Shiraki Marz

Galavar Lorru Marz

Kurdbulakh Shiraki Marz




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