Ruben Shugaryan, Armenia’s first ambassador to the United States after its independence in 1991, passed away on Tuesday in the U.S., where he had been residing since 2008. He was 58.
Shugaryan erved as Armenia’s Ambassador to the United States from 1993 to 1999 overseeing the opening of the embassy in Washington. He was named deputy foreign minister and served in that capacity until 2005 when he was named Armenia’s ambassador to Italy, Spain and Portugal. He moved to the United States in 2008.
Armenia’s President Armen Sarkissian and Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan mourned Shugaryan’s passing in statements, Sarkissian calling his service to Armenia “honorable.”
“A descendent of the family of intellectuals in many generations, an accomplished and refined individual, he left his unforgettable footprint in the history of the Third Republic of Armenia. He honorably represented Armenia as ambassador to the United States of America and Italy, defended Armenia’s and the Armenian people’s interests through his educational and research activities,” said President Sarkissian in a statement through his press office.
“He left us at a time when he already had gained experience, knowledge and international recognition which he used and could have used for many years in the interests of the Homeland,” added Sarkissian. “Our nation has lost one of its worthy sons. At this difficult moment of irreversible loss, Nouneh and I send our deepest condolences to Ruben’s wife, children, family and friends.”
“It’s with great sorrow and deep regret that I heard the news of Rouben Shugaryan’s untimely passing. I express my deepest condolences to his family and friends. Mr. Shugaryan embodied the best attributes of an intellectual, with a broad worldview, active civic commitment and patriotism,” Prime Minister Pashinyan wrote on Twitter.
“Heartbroken about the passing of Ruben Shugaryan, one of out best and brightest,” said Armenia’s Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan in a Twitter post. “Lost a great friend and great supporter. Will miss his wisdom, composure and generous friendship. Very sad. God bless his memory.”