Armenia Opens New Consulate in Chicago

On Thursday evening, March 22, in Chicago, the united Armenian community, members of the city’s consular corps, and city leaders celebrated the establishment of Chicago’s Honorary Consulate of the Republic of Armenia—which will serve the states of Illinois, Missouri, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Minnesota.

Nearly 500 guests gathered at the Union League Club for the event, where an official proclamation named Oscar Tatosian as the Republic of Armenia’s first Honorary Consul in Chicago.

Diocesan Primate Archbishop Khajag Barsamian delivered an opening prayer and offered remarks on the occasion and on Mr. Tatosian, who is deeply associated with the Armenian Church in America, and has served on several of its boards, including as a former chair of the Diocesan Council.

“The church is very encouraging of this new Armenian Consul, and is eager to help its mission,’ he said. “I am especially pleased by the Armenian government’s choice for the office. I’ve watched with admiration as Oscar Tatosian accepted many responsibilities in the church. On this occasion I want to congratulate him as he opens another chapter in his leadership of our community.”

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel attended and offered a formal welcome to Consul and congratulations to the Armenian community.

Remarks were made by Armenia’s Ambassador to the U.S. Grigor Hovhannissian, as well as the Smithsonian Institution’s Halle Butvin, who inspired the enthusiastic crowd with details on an upcoming “Armenian Folk Life Festival,” scheduled to run for 10 days this summer on the National Mall in Washington, DC.

Also attending were Berj Apkarian and Adroushan Armenian, respective Honorary Consuls from the Armenian consular offices in Fresno, CA, and Las Vegas, NV.

“This was a truly historic event for the ‘Chicagoland’ Armenians,” said Sam Mikaelian, longtime leader of the Armenian Church community at the Midwest regional and Diocesan levels. “The audience actually cheered after the official ribbon-cutting ceremony. That should indicate how genuinely united we are in our feelings of pride for this accomplishment.”

Going forward, Armenia’s Honorary Consulate in Chicago will focus on matters of interest to the Republic of Armenia, primarily in the areas of technology, agriculture/wine, tourism, and education.

Click here to view photos.

Above (l-r): Diocesan Primate Abp. Khajag Barsamian, Armenia’s Ambassador to the U.S. Grigor Hovhannissian, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and Armenia’s first Honorary Consul in Chicago Oscar Tatosian.

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