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YEREVAN. – A private meeting of the Armenian leader with Pope Francis has started in Gilded Chamber at the Presidential Palace in Yerevan.

Welcoming Pope Francis, the Armenian President said: “We are grateful for the warmth brought by you and the blessing for our ancient people.”

The Armenian leader expressed his pleasure in connection with the forthcoming 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Armenia and the Vatican.

President Sargsyan described as “historical” the visit of Pope John Paul, the establishment of the monument to Gregory the Illuminator, a liturgy marking the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide that was conducted by Pope Francis last year.

The meeting will be followed by conversation with the Armenian officials, diplomats.

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