A Guide to the United States’ History of Recognition, Diplomatic, and Consular Relations, by Country, since 1776: Armenia


Between the 4th and the 19th centuries Armenia was conquered and ruled by, among others, Persians, Arabs, Byzantines, Mongols and Turks. While Armenia was under Ottoman rule the United States established a consulate in Ezerum, Armenia (present-day Ezurum, Turkey) in 1896. The consulate was transferred to Trebizond, Turkey in 1904.

Modern Flag of Armenia

For a brief period from 1918 to 1920 Armenia became an independent republic. In late 1920, local communists came to power following an invasion of Armenia by the Soviet Red Army, and in 1922, Armenia became part of the Trans-Caucasian Soviet Socialist Republic. In 1936, it became the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic. The dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 created the opportunity for bilateral relations between Armenia and the United States.


U.S. Recognition of the Armenian Republic, 1920.

The United States recognized the independence of the Armenian Republic on April 23, 1920, when Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby delivered a note to the Representative of the Armenian Republic (Pasdermadjian) in Washington, informing him of President Woodrow Wilson’s decision. The note specified that this recognition “in no way predetermines the territorial frontiers, which…are matters for later delimitation.”

The territory expected to compose the independent Armenian Republic previously had been under the sovereignty of the Ottoman and Russian Empires. At the request of the Paris Peace Conference’s Supreme Council of the Allied Powers, President Wilson arbitrated the boundary to be set between Armenia and Turkey, and submitted his determinations to the Supreme Council on November 22, 1920. Prior to Wilson’s decisions, however, the territory expected to compose the Armenian Republic had been attacked by Turkish and Bolshevik troops. By the end of 1920 the Armenian Republic had ceased to exist as an independent state, with its territory either seized by Turkey or established as the Armenian Soviet Republic, which subsequently joined the Soviet Union.

U.S. Recognition of Armenia, 1991.

The United States recognized Armenia’s independence on December 25, 1991, when President George H.W. Bush announced the decision in an address to the nation regarding the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Armenia previously had been a constituent republic of the USSR.

Diplomatic Relations

Establishment of Diplomatic Relations, 1991.

Diplomatic relations were established on December 25, 1991, when President George H.W. Bush announced the decision in an address to the nation regarding the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

Establishment of the American Embassy in Yerevan, 1992.

The American Embassy in Yerevan was opened on February 3, 1992, with Steven Mann as Chargé d’Affaires ad interim.


  • Department of State Country Fact Sheet: Armenia
  • Department of State Country Information: Armenia
  • CIA World Factbook: Armenia
  • Library of Congress Country Study Armenia