Geographic and Governmental Profile of Armenia

Background
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.
Location
Southwestern Asia, between Turkey (to the west) and Azerbaijan
Geographic coordinates
40 00 N, 45 00 E
Continent / Subcontinent
Middle East
Area
total:
29,743 sq km
rank:
143
land:
28,203 sq km
water:
1,540 sq km
Area - comparative
slightly smaller than Maryland
Land boundaries
total:
1,254 km
border countries:
Azerbaijan-proper 566 km, Azerbaijan-Naxcivan exclave 221 km, Georgia 164 km, Iran 35 km, Turkey 268 km
Coastline
0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims
none (landlocked)
Climate
highland continental, hot summers, cold winters
Terrain
Armenian Highland with mountains; little forest land; fast flowing rivers; good soil in Aras River valley
Elevation extremes
lowest point:
Debed River 400 m
highest point:
Aragats Lerrnagagat' 4,090 m
Natural resources
small deposits of gold, copper, molybdenum, zinc, bauxite
Land use
arable land:
16.78%
permanent crops:
2.01%
other:
81.21% (2005)
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Irrigated land
2,740 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources
10.5 cu km (1997)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)
total:
2.95 cu km/yr (30%/4%/66%)
per capita:
977 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards
occasionally severe earthquakes; droughts
Environment - current issues
soil pollution from toxic chemicals such as DDT; the energy crisis of the 1990s led to deforestation when citizens scavenged for firewood; pollution of Hrazdan (Razdan) and Aras Rivers; the draining of Sevana Lich (Lake Sevan), a result of its use as a source for hydropower, threatens drinking water supplies; restart of Metsamor nuclear power plant in spite of its location in a seismically active zone
Environment - international agreements
party to:
Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified:
Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants
Geography - note
landlocked in the Lesser Caucasus Mountains; Sevana Lich (Lake Sevan) is the largest lake in this mountain range
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
adopted 1991; based on the anthem of the Democratic Republic of Armenia (1918-1922) but with different lyrics
Data source 1: All Above textual data, maps and flags were extracted from The World Factbook which was prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency and made available on the following link: The World Factbook. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsered or affiliated, in any way, by the US Central Intelligence Agency
Data source 2: Plots and Charts are constructed using the world bank public data catalog which can be viewed by visiting the following link: World Bank Data Catalog. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsored or affiliated, in any way, by the worldbank

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