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bbc: Armenian president notes `special significance´ of Pope´s visit

Text of report by Armenian news agency Mediamax

Yerevan, 25 September: Armenian President Robert Kocharyan said in Yerevan today that the first visit by the head of the Catholic Church to Armenia is of historic significance for the development of relations between Armenia and the Vatican. Robert Kocharyan said this at the pontiff’s welcoming ceremony at Yerevan’s Zvartnots airport. The president said that he saw a “special sign” in the fact that Pope John Paul II was visiting Armenia at a time when the Armenian people were celebrating the 1,700th anniversary of the adoption of Christianity as a state religion.

“The visit by the pope of Rome is a great event for any country, but his visit has special significance for us,” Robert Kocharyan said.

Source: Mediamax news agency, Yerevan, in Russian 0840 gmt 25 Sep 01. BBC Worldwide Monitoring/ (c) BBC 2001.

ASIA 25/9/2001

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