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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 February 2007, 14:25 GMT
Armenia seeks to boost population
View of Yerevan with Mt Ararat
Armenia's struggling economy needs support from the diaspora
Armenia's parliament has passed a dual nationality bill which allows the granting of citizenship to emigres in the huge Armenian diaspora.

Armenia has a population of 3.2 million but the diaspora is estimated to be some eight million. Many of them live in Russia, France, Iran and the US.

Ethnic Armenians who speak Armenian would benefit, as would foreigners married to an Armenian.

The diaspora's remittances are crucial for Armenia's economy.

Armenians backed dual citizenship in a November 2005 referendum. It abolished a clause in the constitution which barred dual nationality.

The Armenian diaspora is 2,000 years old, but its size increased dramatically after the mass killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks from 1915 to 1917.

According to the National Bank of Armenia, remittances from the diaspora are double the size of the country's budget.

Armenia is a small landlocked country. It still has bitter disputes with its neighbours Turkey and Azerbaijan. The influence of Russia - formerly Armenia's colonial master - remains strong.


SEE ALSO
Country profile: Armenia
14 Jan 07 |  Country profiles

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