When I went to Armenia a few years ago I met a politician called Karine Kazinian At the time she was the Armenian Deputy Foreign Minister and she had quite an effect on me. Indeed, I wrote THIS blogpost about her. Here’s an excerpt…

I had the pleasure of having an uproarious chat with the Armenian Deputy Foreign Minister, a lady called Karine Ghazinyan (pic). She’s only been in the job six months, having previously been Armenian Ambassador to Rumania and Germany. Armenian Ministers are not politicians – they are appointees by the Prime Minister. She was the most untypical diplomat I have ever met – a real Margaret Thatcher in the making if ever I saw one. She also had a good line in jokes from the Soviet era… Both the American and Soviet constitutions guaranteed freedom of speech. The difference was that the American constitution guaranteed freedom after the speech. Boom boom. And… Damn, I can’t remember the other one.

Back in 2011 she was appointed Armenia’s Ambassador to the UK, and helped transform relationships between our two countries.

Anyway, I got an email this afternoon from my friend Dan Hamilton, which rather rocked me.

I wanted to drop you a note to let you know that your excellent description of my late friend “Karine Kazinian” (sometimes written as “Ghazinian”) as an “Armenian Margaret Thatcher” was mentioned at her memorial service on Thursday evening. It was one of the few happy points in what was an horrendously difficult and sad evening. It’s still hard to believe we won’t see her again – but I thought you’d appreciate knowing.

I am ashamed that I had no idea she had died. Armenia has lots a truly great lady.

Frankly I can do no better than point you towards Dan Hamilton’s excellent blogpost which he wrote on the day Katrine died. He was a good friend of hers and writes poignantly about her life, and the very sad circumstances in which she lost it.