Institute of Oriental Studies, National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of ArmeniaThe Institute of Oriental Studies, National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Armenia (IOS NAS RA) was founded in 1971, on the basis of the Department of Oriental Studies, created in 1958. The greatest credit for the foundation of the Institute must go to Academician M.G. Nersissyan and Prof. H.G. Injikyan (Chief of the Department of IOS since 1958 to 1971), the first Director of the IOS Academician G. Kh. Sarkissyan (1971-1994) and RA NAS correspondent member, the Director of the IOS 1994-2006 N.H. Hovhannisyan. The present Director of IOS is Prof. R.A. Safrastyan since 2006. The IOS studies the history, socio-political, international and regional relations, the culture, religion, the problems of national minorities and ethnic groups of the countries and peoples of the Middle East, Caucasus and Eastern Asia from antiquity to the present. From the geographical point of view this is conditioned by the circumstance that the Middle East and Caucasus are the regions which are the immediate neighbors of Armenia, whose ancient and modern history is closely interlaced with the history of the Assyrians, Babylonians, Hittites, Persians, Byzantines, Georgians, Caucasian Albanians, Arabs, Kurds, Turks and other peoples. Besides, in most Arabic countries, Iran, Turkey, Georgia and Northern Caucasus there are active Armenian communities.