The Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports of the Republic of Armenia and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation within the “Stipendium Hungaricum” scholarship program for 2023-2025, aimed at strengthening friendly relations between the two countries and advancing cooperation in the field of higher education.

According to the memorandum, the Hungarian side will annually allocate 30 scholarship places to RA citizens to study Hungarian or other foreign languages in Hungarian higher education institutions until 2025.

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Paruyr Hovhannisyan, ESCS Deputy Minister Arthur Martirosyan, Hungarian Secretary of State Tristan Azbej, Hungarian Ministerial Commissioner Gyula Budai and other representatives of the RA Ministries of FA and ESCS attended ESCS Minister Zhanna Andreasyan's meeting with the delegation headed by Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Siarto.

The ESCS Minister welcomed the guests and highlighted the importance of Armenian-Hungarian cooperation in the fields of education, science, culture, sports and youth. According to Zhanna Andreasyan, studying languages is one of the important targets of the “RA Education Development State Program until 2030”, and studying the Hungarian language can open up new perspectives and opportunities for the Armenian youth.

Touching upon the prospects of cooperation in the field of education, Zhanna Andreasyan also suggested considering the implementation of the program of teaching the Armenian language, literature and Armenian studies at the Hungarian State University. A reference was made to the topic of Armenian studies at the Peter Pazmany Catholic University in Budapest, as well as the development of Hungarian studies and Hungarian language studies at Yerevan State University or Yerevan State Pedagogical University, upon possibility.

Thankful for the reception, Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Siarto emphasized the importance of the partnership relations formed between the two countries and the existing and potential avenues of cooperation. Touching upon the scholarship program, the Minister noted that in case of demand, the Hungarian side will also consider the possibility of increasing scholarship places. Peter Siarto stressed the importance of training Hungarian and Armenian-speaking specialists, expressing hope that the scholarship program will contribute to the increase of interest in the Hungarian language among Armenian youth and the training of relevant specialists.

At the meeting with Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Siarto, the ESCS Minister raised the issue of protecting the historical and cultural heritage of Nagorno-Karabakh. Zhanna Andreasyan stressed that the rich Armenian cultural heritage of Nagorno-Karabakh is now under a direct threat of destruction by Azerbaijan. The Minister drew Peter Siarto’s attention to the fact that due to the military aggression against Nagorno-Karabakh in 2020 and 2023, 5000 immovable monuments of Armenian history and culture, as well as 16 state museums, came under the control of Azerbaijan and that the targeted address of the international community to the preservation of which can have an essential role.

“The Amaras Monastery Complex, where the first Armenian school was founded in the 5th century, the Gandzasar Monastery complex and several other historical and cultural monuments are an important part of the world Christian heritage and, unfortunately, today are under an obvious threat of distortion. We are hopeful that due to the joint efforts of the international community and structures, it will be possible to find solutions for preserving the cultural heritage of Nagorno-Karabakh. Based on the information from open sources in the period from 2020 to 2023, we have collected documentary videos and photographs about 50 cases of partial or complete destruction of monuments,” noted Zhanna Andreasyan.

Peter Siarto noted that, as a Christian country, Hungary also attaches importance to the preservation of Christian monuments, in particular churches.

Other issues of mutual interest were also discussed during the meeting.