The first official visit by Ambassador Armen Baibourtian, Consul General of Armenia to Los Angeles, Utah, began on July 12 with a meeting with the Armenian community in the Arbat Hall. The Consul General spoke about practical mechanisms and programs to build institutional relationships between the Armenian community in Utah of two thousand people and the Armenian Consulate General in Los Angeles, bridging the community with Armenia. Ambassador Baibourtian thanked community officials for their humanitarian efforts in Artsakh and Armenia during the 44-day war last year. On behalf of the Armenian Consulate General, he presented Ohannes Hovig Megerdichian, Chairman of the Parish Council of the Armenian Apostolic Church of Salt Lake City, with a certificate of appreciation for his contribution to the organization of the Armenian leg of the visit and his guidance within the community.
On June 13, the Consul General visited Weber State University in Ogden, Utah. Ambassador Baibourtian met with Weber State University President Brad Mortensen, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Ravi Krovi, Dean and Senior International Officer Yimin Wang, Dean of the College of Health Professions Yasmen Simonian, and the Initiative Group of the future Department of Peace and development. Several important items on the agenda for establishing a partnership with the universities in Armenia were discussed and agreed, in particular the introduction of the study abroad program for students of Weber State in Armenia, the organization of an event promoting the partnership in Los Angeles etc. The meeting with Dean Simonian and all of the Dumke College of Health Professions professorships focused on building a partnership with Yerevan State Medical University.
The chairwoman of the Armenian Assembly of Armenia in Utah, Narine Sarkissian, hosted a dinner in honor of Ambassador Baibourtian with numerous guests from the Armenian community.
On July 14th, Ambassador Baibourtian was appointed by the Hon. Deidre Henderson, Lieutenant Governor of the State of Utah in the Gold Room of the State Capitol. The interlocutors discussed perspectives for a diverse cooperation between Armenia and Utah. The consul general asked the lieutenant governor for assistance in meeting certain needs of the local Armenian community.
Ambassador Baibourtian visited Brigham Young University (BYU) in Provo and had a working lunch with the directors of the Kennedy Center for International Studies and professors in Political Science and International Relations.
They discussed the situation in the South Caucasus in detail. He also attended Utah Valley University and was received by Chief International Officer Baldomero Lago. They discussed the international diplomatic conference it organized.
On July 15th a business roundtable with the title “Utah – Armenia: Trade and Investment Opportunities” took place. It was organized by the World Trade Center Utah, the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, and the Salt Lake Chamber. Prior to the Business Roundtable, Ambassador Baibourtian had a meeting with Miles Hansen, President and CEO of the World Trade Center Utah. They discussed opportunities for further collaboration and systematic follow-up aimed at promoting business relations between Armenia and Utah. Ryan Starks, Managing Director of Business Services for the Governor of Utah’s Office of Economic Opportunity, and David Carlebach, Vice President, International Investment, World Trade Center Utah welcomed attendees. Franz Kolb, Director of International Trade, Diplomacy and Protocol for the Governor of Utah’s Office of Economic Opportunity, introduced the state of Utah from a business perspective. Ambassador Armen Baibourtian then gave a presentation on Armenia highlighting the comparative advantages of doing business in Armenia and the potential of Armenian high-tech companies to enter the Utah market. He also answered the participants’ questions. Kirk Cullimore, Utah State Senator, the Senate Majority Assistant, attended the event.
The consul general also visited the Salt Lake City Humanitarian Center and was invited to an official dinner in his honor by LDS Church leaders.