As part of his working visit to Lebanon, Acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan today met with Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia in Antelias.
Prior to the meeting, Nikol Pashinyan joined Catholicos Aram I to visit the Chapel by the Saint Gregory the Illuminator Cathedral at the Holy See, which perpetrates the memory of the Armenian Genocide victims. Nikol Pashinyan paid tribute by laying flowers at the memorial.
Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia Aram I noted in his welcoming speech: “Dear Mr. Prime Minister, I am happy to welcome you home. The Church belongs to our people; we originate from the people, we belong to the people and are called to serve our people. This is the home of our nation, our homeland. We have formed this understanding as we studied here.
When we lost Cilicia as a kingdom and as a land, we created a spiritual Cilicia. This factor has gone a long way toward developing the spiritual Cilicia, as you mentioned in your speech this morning, and the mission of this chair is to materialize our spiritual, cultural and national values in our people’s lives.
We dreamed of Armenia, we wanted Armenia to see our dream, we dreamed of free and independent Armenia. Consequently, the majority of this chair represents the power of Armenia, and a new page opened in our homeland’s modern history – a new chapter of hope and love, unity and vision.
And from the very first day, I called on our people to not only be proud of Armenia at a distance, but also to take a share in the reconstruction and strengthening of our Homeland. Consequently, I would like to tell you once again that this chair with its wings and I personally support you because your success is Armenia’s success. Consequently, we all want our Motherland to grow stronger under your wise leadership. Once again I welcome you with these thoughts and expectations.”
Acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan replied: “Thank you, Your Holiness. To be honest, we are having a very impressive visit here. I want to congratulate you once again on the 50th anniversary of your spiritual activity. I expressed my appreciation during the morning’s event. I would like to reiterate my respect and appreciation to you for your work and thank you for the invitation because it gave me the opportunity to communicate with all the layers of Lebanon’s Armenian community.
Of course, it was a pleasure to state that the Armenian government has full support on the part of our compatriots. Believe it, your support, and, more importantly, your kind remarks and your active stance added to our strength during the days of the velvet revolution, for which I wish to thank you once again.
I would like to say that those changes could not have been done without the support of the Diaspora, without the unequivocal support of Diaspora-based Armenians. It helped us implement political processes exclusively in an atmosphere of peace, love and solidarity. The people’s position both in the Diaspora and Armenia was so obvious that any resistance seemed to be illogical.
Of course, it is very important to talk about the future, and being in such a spiritual center of the Armenian nation, I want to emphasize the factor of faith when talking about the future. We must believe in the future of our people, in our strength, and that is perhaps the most important thing. As the Bible teaches us, any goal can be reached with faith, conviction and purposefulness.
I hope, and I am also convinced that our people will never lose its self-confidence because it is crucial to state the essential, and what matters most is the people’s voice, which is a decisive power as stipulated in the Constitution of our country. I have no doubt that it will be the case ahead.
We must hope that we will not disappoint our people with our undertakings and activities; instead we will give them a new breath and instill trust in their power. Your support is crucial in this respect. Thank you for your readiness.”