On September 21, 1991 by means of referendum, the Republic of Armenia proclaimed its independence and at the end of the same year Armenia entered the Commonwealth of Independent Countries (CIS). Now the Republic of Armenia is an independent democratic country with a population of around 3.2 million. It has very large Diaspora, an average of 8 million Armenians live worldwide. The Republic of Armenia is a member of the United Nations, Council of Europe and other international organizations.
The capital of the Republic of Armenia is Yerevan. It is one of a few modern cities in the world which is 2798 years old, but in spite of its age it is modern and dynamic. There are many historical and cultural museums as well as art galleries in Yerevan but one of the most precious treasures of the Armenian nation is the collection of ancient manuscripts being kept in Matenadaran (the Institute of Ancient manuscripts named after Mesrop Mashtots).
Armenia is one of the most ancient countries of the world. It is a small country that connects Europe to Asia. It was the third largest state in the Near East, after the Roman Empire and Parthia over 2000 years ago. One of the facts that Armenia is the ancient country is the Babylonian map of the World (dd. VI century B.C.) which is kept in the British Museum. It is a small clay tablet where three countries are listed in the center of the world - Babylon, Assyria and Armenia.
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