YEREVAN, FEBRUARY 22, ARMENPRESS. Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan met with Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II and Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia Aram I on February 22.
As ARMENPRESS was informed from the Office of the Prime Minister of Armenia, PM Pashinyan said,
“Your Holiness, Catholicos of All Armenians,
Your Holiness, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia,
I am glad to see and meet you. Of course, we have met in the past and I recall my visit to Antelias with warmth on the occasion of the jubilee year of your activities. My meetings with the Catholicos of All Armenians are regular. Some of those meetings are covered by the media, some are not and I greatly highlight this interaction. Frankly speaking, I even think that the dialogue has not kicked off yet, because this is a period when we are very cautious towards issues and this is natural. But I think during this period we have succeeded in one thing – we managed to create a sincere and open atmosphere. This particular dialogue is of key importance for the future of our country, for the future of our people, because I think that we have a very important mission to discuss our nation-wide agenda and establish a nation-wide agenda. We know one thing for sure –we, our people, our church and our religious class have a shared acknowledgment that we will not be defeated and have to overcome all the challenges facing our state, people – the Republic of Armenia, the Republic of Artsakh and the Diaspora. I am confident that such interactions, our relations with the Church and discussions are of decisive and key importance. I am very glad for this opportunity and I am thankful for the visit”.
Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II said,
“Thank you, Mr. Prime Minister,
Today we have the pleasant opportunity to visit you together with the Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia Aram I. We are thankful for this opportunity. As you may know, it’s already a few day Catholicos Aram I is in Armenia, at the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin and during these days we together referred to the issues concerning our Church, different issues and problems facing our Church, as well as we discussed issues referring our national life. Of course, we informed Catholicos Aram I that by your decision a working group has been established to examine issues concerning the Church and the State, and to find reasonable solutions for them. We also referred to the mission of our Church in our national and spiritual life, highlighting our role for the spiritual and national consolidation of our people, as well as for the progress of our country. We emphasized the importance of stability in our country and that the atmosphere of love prevails in our country. And the Armenian Church, like during our entire history, has always stood with the state whenever we had our independent statehood, and made a contribution to the safe and secure existence of our country. We have had numerous opportunities to emphasize that the Armenian Apostolic Church will continue the same work with the same vigor and enthusiasm, so as to enable our people to overcome all the difficulties with joint efforts, all the problems facing today our country and the world-spread Armenian people. Naturally, this goes for the issue of the recognition of Artsakh’s independence, recognition of the Armenian Genocide and the stable, safe progress of our country.
We once again want to thank you for today’s meeting and convey our best wishes to you and the success of your efforts”.
Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia Aram I said in his speech,
“Dear Mr. Prime Minister,
This is our 2nd meeting and this time I welcome your mission more officially, as the Prime Minister, because the efforts of anybody aimed at the progress of the statehood cannot be assessed as just work, but is mission by its nature and that mission should be carried out with the acknowledgment of the mission. And I am confident that you are set to this mission with that acknowledgment, with responsible people and young cadres surrounding you with the same mission. Therefore, I wish you all the best and full success and as I have always said, I will repeat again that your success is the success of our motherland and the success of the motherland is the success of our entire nation, because the Republic of Armenia has some responsibilities beyond its borders towards the Diaspora. Therefore, I see your mission in a more comprehensive way. My expectation is that the expectations and needs of the people are met. You set to this mission with that commitment and emphasize din all your public speeches that you come from the people, that the people is the power and it’s the expectations of the people that must inspire you and the Government. Of course, it’s necessary to be realistic and it’s not the right thing to bring emotions into life immediately. My final expectation is that the expectations and needs of the people are met. And my expectation in this process is also that you emphasize the benefit of pluralism.
Having different opinions makes someone rich, with the condition that they will meet somewhere, interact with one another around our national values and ideals. It’s necessary to avoid polarizations. If there are polarizations, they should be bridged over the same values. And for this I greatly highlight the role of the Church. I am glad you highlighted the role of the Church in your speech. The Catholicos of All Armenians also said that the Church-State relations, or I would say partnership, is a must for nation building. Naturally, there are different opinions and approaches. As I already said, these differences should become useful, because we are all in the same ring and on the same path.
Therefore, Mr. Prime Minister, I once again wish you success in your mission. God protect you and our dear homeland”.
Edited and translated by Tigran Sirekanyan