YEREVAN (RFE/RL)–President Robert Kocharian has appointed Tatul Markarian–a deputy foreign minister who has represented him in peace talks with Azerbaijan–as Armenia’s new ambassador to the United States.
Markarian–40–will replace Arman Kirakossian who has headed the Armenian diplomatic mission in Washington since October 1999.
A graduate of Washington’s Johns Hopkins University–Markarian began his diplomatic career at the Armenian embassy in the U.S. where he held various positions from 1994-98. He had previously worked as a top aide to Gagik Harutiunian–Armenia’s former vice-president and prime minister who now heads the Constitutional Court.
Markarian became deputy foreign minister in 2000 and his influence grew two years later when he was named Kocharian’s personal representative in internationally sponsored negotiations on Mountainous Karabagh. He met regularly with his Azeri counterpart Araz Azimov–between 2002 and 2003.