Armenia–Denmark relations

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Armenia-Denmark relations
Map indicating locations of Denmark and Armenia

Denmark

Armenia

Armenia–Denmark relations refers to the current and historical relations between Armenia and Denmark. Armenia has an embassy in Copenhagen,[1] and Denmark is represented in Armenia, through its embassy in Kiev, Ukraine.[2] Diplomatic relations were established on 14 January 1992.[3] The current Armenian Ambassador to Denmark is Hrachya Aghajanyan.[4] In 2008, the Armenian Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandyan called the relations between Armenia and Denmark "friendly" and "highly appreciating".[5] In 2013 Amstream was founded as an independent non-political and non-profit organization in order to initiate means of collaboration and partnerships between Armenia and Scandinavia within business, education and culture.[6]

History[edit]

Mercantile relations between Armenia and Denmark date back to 1568, when Armenian traveler and writer Pirzade Ghap'anets'i visited Denmark.[7]

1800s[edit]

During the Hamidian massacres against the Armenian civilians, the government of Denmark condemned the massacres, and sharply protested against the Ottoman Empire.[8] The famous Danish scholar and critic Georg Brandes commented on the massacres[8][9] and wrote a book about the Armenians in 1903.[10][11]

1900s[edit]

Danish missionaries were active in Armenia from at least the 19th century. According to Danish historian Matthias Bjornlund, missionary, Karen Jeppe can be counted as Denmark's first ever aid worker. This was because she largely refrained from preaching Protestant doctrine to the Orthodox Armenians, instead concentrating on achieving humanitarian development objectives, such as improving education and performing rescue operations to free captured Armenian women.[12][13]

Unusually for European workers at the time, in the years leading up to World War I Jeppe along with other Danish individuals and organisations[14] also pushed for international recognition of Armenians right to self determination. Armenia was granted independence shortly after World War I at the Treaty of Sèvres. However the new state, Wilsonian Armenia, was not officially recognised by Turkey or the USA, as President Woodrow Wilson, weakened by a stroke and without his political fixer Colonel House, was defeated in the Senate by the power plays of Henry Cabot Lodge. By 1921 the temporary Armenian republic had collapsed under military pressure from the Young Turks. Jeppe and other Danes returned from Denmark to the region to continue their work on behalf of the Armenians. Their work included the establishment of the first ever Armenian agricultural village in Syria to provide a livelihood for displaced Armenians, settlements established by Jeppe and her helpers were noted for their prosperity in comparison to other camps that took in Armenians.[12][15]

In November 1920, Denmark accepted the League of Nations offer to act as a mediator in the war between the Democratic Republic of Armenia and the Turkish nationalists under Mustafa Kemal.[16][17][18]

After the 1988 Spitak earthquake in Armenia, Denmark donated aid to Armenia.[19][20][21]

Modern Armenia[edit]

Since the modern state of Armenia gained independence in 1991, the two countries have worked to build ties, with both government and NGOs playing a role. According to the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, civil society agencies such as Mission Ost, the Danish Armenian Mission and the Danish Society for the Caucasus Research have been active in developing the bilateral relationship.[2] In 2003, 100 illegal Armenian immigrants lived in Denmark, and was a subject for return to Armenia, in the negotiations between the two governments.[22] In 2004, Armenia's President Robert Kocharyan discussed the developing relationship with the Danish Ambassador, conceding much work remained to be done. Both parties emphasised the importance of enhanced economic cooperation.[23] In a 2009 diplomatic meeting with Denmark's new ambassador, Armenia's President Serzh Sargsyan expressed a desire to further deepen their bilateral relationship, suggesting specific areas for increased cooperation such as agricultural and energy efficiency, where Denmark has considerable expertise.[24] Both countries signed a double tax agreement to strengthen economic relations.[25] Both countries signed an air service agreement[26] in 2000.[3] Armenia and Denmark signed a Readmission of persons with unauthorized stay agreement in April 2003.[27]

Armenian Genocide[edit]

Sources from various Danish workers active in Armenia during the early twentieth century have been used by Matthias Bjornlund to offer new perspectives on the Armenian Genocide. The Danish government does not however officially recognise that the mass killings of Armenians should be classed as a Genocide, saying the judgement of whether to do so is a matter for historians.[28]

In an open letter by the "Danish Department for Holocaust and Genocide Studies and the denial and relativization of the Armenian genocide", historians Torben Jorgensen and Matthias Bjornlund wrote:[29]

"When it comes to the historical reality of the Armenian genocide, there is no “Armenian” or “Turkish” side of the “question,” any more than there is a “Jewish” or a “German” side of the historical reality of the Holocaust: There is a scientific side, and an unscientific side acknowledgment or denial. In the case of the denial of the Armenian genocide, it is even founded on a massive effort of falsification, distortion, cleansing of archives, and direct threats initiated or supported by the Turkish state, making any “dialogue” with Turkish deniers highly problematic." [sic][29]

Development[edit]

In the second phase of the Neighborhood Program, Armenia has a high priority. The Neighborhood Program helps Armenia with rural and economic development.[30]

In 2004, Denmark signed an agreement to assist Armenia implementing the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) protocol and help reduce their emission of greenhouse gasses. The agreement came into force in March 2005.[31][32][33][34] In 2006, Denmark assisted Armenia with 10 million DKK, for the disabled Armenian children.[35]

Denmark sent observers through the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe to Armenia in 2007, and provided 16 million DKK to Armenia's renewable energy project.[36] Denmark also sent aid to Armenia after the humanitarian consequences of the Nagorno-Karabakh War.[37]

In 2008, the two countries signed an agreement, promoting growth and employment in poor areas. Denmark provided 30 million DKK to the project,[30] and 29 million DKK to the private sector and education.[38] In September 2008, Denmark assisted Armenia, Georgia and Ukraine with 50 million DKK, for the private sector programme.[39] In June 2011, Denmark assisted Armenia with 4,7 million DKK to a programme of International Fund for Agricultural Development for the farms in Armenia.[40]

Trade[edit]

Danish exports to Armenia in 2008 was 30.6 million DKK, while Denmark's import from Armenia, was 5 million DKK.[41]

High level visits[edit]

In April 2003, Armenian Minister of Territorial Administration Hovik Abrahamyan visited Denmark. In August 2004, Danish Minister of Foreign Affairs Per Stig Møller visited Armenia.[3] In 2005, Denmark invited Armenian President Robert Kocharyan to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly 51st annual session in Copenhagen, but refused because Denmark also invited Turkish Premier Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.[42]

On 24 November 2011, the Armenian Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandyan visited Denmark for a meeting with the Danish Foreign Minister Villy Søvndal. Nalbandyan also thanked Denmark for the Danish assistance for the aftermath in the Spitak earthquake and in Armenia's progress since independence.[43][44] Nalbandyan attended the opening of the new Armenian embassy in Denmark and stressed that: "Raising the Armenian flag in the capital of Denmark, we demonstrate our willingness to raise our bilateral relations to a new level."[45]

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ "Embassy of Armenia opens in Denmark". PanArmenian. 28 July 2011. Retrieved 12 August 2011. 
  2. ^ a b "Info about Armenia". Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark. Retrieved 6 February 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c "Bilateral relations between Armenia and Denmark". Foreign Affairs of Armenia. Retrieved 13 March 2011. 
  4. ^ "Armenian president appoints new ambassador to Denmark". ARKA News Agency. Retrieved 25 August 2011. 
  5. ^ "Armenia, Denmark sign an agreement on cooperation". ArmRadio. 15 September 2008. Retrieved 28 August 2011. 
  6. ^ "Armenien vil vise flaget i Skandinavien". Standby. Retrieved 15 August 2013. 
  7. ^ Journal of the Society for Armenian Studies, 11 - 13. Society for Armenian Studies. 2000. p. 73. Retrieved 20 June 2011. 
  8. ^ a b "Starten på den danske indsats for armenierne" (PDF) (in Danish). Retrieved 28 August 2011. 
  9. ^ Georg Brandes. "Neros Blodsudgydelser er rent ud Barneleg i Sammenligning med Abdul Hamids; Neros Grusomhed er Dilettanteri i Sammenligning med Abdul Hamids Virtuositet i Martring og Slagtning. Og nu betænker man, at paa Neros Tid den store Morder, om end straffri, dog i de Kristnes Øjne gjaldt for Dyret i Aabenbaringen, medens i vore Dage alle kristne Magter staar i det venskabeligste Forhold til Abdul Hamid, og ingen har lagt ham et Halmstraa i Vejen. [sic]" (in Danish). 
  10. ^ George Brandes. Armenien und Europa 1903 (in German). p. 27. Retrieved 28 August 2011. 
  11. ^ George, Brandes. "Armenien und Europa 1903" (PDF). p. 27. Retrieved 28 August 2011. 
  12. ^ a b Matthias Bjornlund (2007). "Karen Jeppe, Aage Meyer Benedictsen, and the Ottoman Armenians" (PDF). ermenisoykirimi.net. Retrieved 29 November 2010. 
  13. ^ "Genocide and kidnapped Armenian women.". The Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute. Archived from the original on 15 December 2010. Retrieved 29 November 2010. 
  14. ^ "Such as the Danish Friends of Armenians". 
  15. ^ Inger Marie Okkenhaug (2007). "Women on a mission! Scandinavian welfare and the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire.". In Nefissa Naguib. Interpreting welfare and relief in the Middle East. Brill. pp. 57–83. ISBN 978-90-04-16436-9. 
  16. ^ "Denmark may be chosen as mediator in Armenia" 28 (28). The Providence Journal. 29 November 1920. p. 26. Retrieved 21 May 2011. 
  17. ^ Ralph Courtney (29 November 1920). "Denmark ready to undertake Armenia duty". The Baltimore News. Retrieved 21 May 2011. 
  18. ^ "Denmark may accept mandate from Armenia". Los Angeles Times. 29 November 1920. p. 2. Retrieved 21 May 2011. 
  19. ^ AP (10 December 1988). "World Relief Pours In". Newsday. Retrieved 17 November 2011. 
  20. ^ "Western aid arrives in Armenia". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. 10 December 1988. Retrieved 17 November 2011. 
  21. ^ Michael Parks (30 October 1989). "Armenia's Quake Recovery Slowed by Ethnic Conflict". Retrieved 17 November 2011. 
  22. ^ "Danes to be expelled from Armenia". Human Rights in Armenia. 3 April 2003. Retrieved 29 November 2010. 
  23. ^ "Kocharyan Received Danish Ambassador". a1plus.am. 23 November 2004. Retrieved 29 November 2010. 
  24. ^ "Armenia, Denmark interested in deepening bilateral relations". ArmRadio.am. 17 December 2009. Retrieved 28 June 2011. 
  25. ^ "Double tax agreement with Armenia signed". Station.lu. Retrieved 6 February 2011. 
  26. ^ "Air Services Agreement Between the Government of the Republic of Armenia and the Government of the Kingdom of Denmark" (in Armenian). Foreign Affairs of Armenia. Archived from the original on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 4 July 2011. 
  27. ^ "Denmark and Armenia Agreement between the Government of the Kingdom of Denmark and the Government of the Republic of Armenia on the readmission of persons with unauthorized stay (with annexes). Copenhagen, 30 April 2003. Registration with the Secretariat of the United Nations: Denmark, 14 January 2005" (PDF). 40904 (51674). 30 April 2003. Retrieved 7 July 2011. 
  28. ^ "Denmark Refuses to Recognize Armenian Genocide". Armtown.com. 11 January 2008. Retrieved 29 November 2010. 
  29. ^ a b "Armenian Genocide Denial in the state of Denmark. Open letter by Torben Jorgensen and Matthias Bjornlund, World Association of International Studies.". The Danish Department for Holocaust and Genocide Studies and the denial and relativization of the Armenian genocide. WAIS World Association of International studies. 27 November 2005. Retrieved 20 May 2011. 
  30. ^ a b "Danish Assistance To Armenia Changes Gear". Danish embassy in Kiev, Ukraine. Retrieved 28 June 2011. 
  31. ^ "CDM Projects Implementation in Armenia" (PDF). OECD. April 2005. Retrieved 29 November 2010. 
  32. ^ "CDM News". Climate Change Information Center of Armenia. Retrieved 29 November 2010. 
  33. ^ "Memorandum of Understanding between Armenia and Denmark on cooperation for the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change" (PDF). Climate Change Information Center of Armenia. Retrieved 6 February 2011. 
  34. ^ "Project Clean Development Mechanism Project Design (Project 0452 : Lusakert Biogas Plant (LBP), methane capture and combustion from poultry manure treatment)". United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. 3 October 2001. Retrieved 6 February 2011. 
  35. ^ "DANIDA and Disabled children in Armenia" (in Danish). Ulandsnyt.dk. 27 January 2006. Retrieved 6 February 2011. 
  36. ^ Denmark's participation in international development cooperation (PDF) (in Danish (search for "Armenien")). DANIDA. ISBN 978-87-7667-929-3. Retrieved 6 February 2011. 
  37. ^ Caucasus Region - Humanitarian Aid to Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia (DANIDA's annual report). Foreign Affairs of Denmark. ISBN 87-7667-257-3. Retrieved 6 February 2011. ISSN 01060090
  38. ^ "Countries". Foreign Ministry of Denmark. Retrieved 18 November 2011. 
  39. ^ "Per Stig dirigerer u-landsmidler til Georgien, Ukraine og Armenien" (in Danish). Ulandsnyt.dk. 13 September 2008. Retrieved 29 December 2010. 
  40. ^ "DENMARK TO PROVIDE GRANT IN THE AMOUNT OF $4.7 MILLION BY THE PROGRAM IFAD FOR CREDITING THE FARMS IN ARMENIA". Arka.am. 30 June 2011. Retrieved 7 July 2011. 
  41. ^ "Landefakta Armenien". Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark (in Danish). Wayback Machine. Retrieved 22 December 2011. 
  42. ^ "Armenian President will not meet Erdogan in Denmark". Armtown.com. 8 November 2005. Retrieved 20 June 2011. 
  43. ^ "Armenian FM holds meetings in Denmark". TERT.am. 25 November 2011. Retrieved 26 November 2011. 
  44. ^ "Armenia, Denmark interested in boosting ties". Armtown. 25 November 2011. Retrieved 27 November 2011. 
  45. ^ "Armenian Embassy opens in Copenhagen". Armradio. 24 November 2011. Retrieved 27 November 2011. 

Further reading[edit]