WESTMINSTER–The British-Armenian Parliamentary All-Party Group during its May 4 meeting in the House of Lords unanimously elected Dr. Armen Sarkissian as "Life President" of the Parliamentary Group.
BAPG was founded in February 1992 by the Earl of Shannon (Cross-Bench – Independent Peer) and Odette Bazil–a long time and active member of the British-Armenian community. Dr. Armen Sarkissian is the founding President of the Group.
BAPG–which has a counterpart in the Armenian National Assembly–fosters close and friendly relations between the two parliamen’s and facilitates visits between British and Armenian parliamentarians.
To date–the Group has 56 Members of the British Parliament and is the largest among the British parliamentary groups of the former Soviet countries.
On the occasion of Dr. Sarkissian’s election as "Life President," Lord Walpole–BAPG Chairman–thanked the former Prime Minister and Ambassador of Armenia–for his "wise counsel and efficient co-operation during the Group’s eight years of activities."
Referring to Dr. Sarkissian’s involvement with the Group–Bazil–Executive Secretary–said–"We feel privileged to have received the benefit of your deep knowledge of the countries of the former Soviet Union and the politics of the region.
"Your support and close involvement with the Group has been a great encouragement to the 56 Members of Parliament–in both Houses–to join the Group and advocate on our behalf. Your strong connection with Britain over the last fifteen years is the greatest impetus that facilitates our work."
The British-Armenian Parliamentary Group has pursued a number of issues in the last few years–such as the Karabakh conflict–recognition of the Armenian Genocide–Armenia’s membership in European structures–exchange of POWs–Armenia’s blockade by Turkey and Azerbaijan and other vital issues.