His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians has interrupted his meeting with Pope Francis I and is immediately returning to Armenia.
He has issued a statement stating the following:
Early this morning, the Azerbaijani armed forces violated the ceasefire again and made an attack along the entire length of the line of contact, shelling peaceful settlement of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh), including the capital Stepanakert.
The Armenian land of Artsakh is calling all of us again to protect the rights of our nation, our sacred land, our future and our national dignity.
We call on our people to unite and call on all political forces to place the needs for homeland defense above their differences.
At this moment, while I am on a visit to Italy where I was supposed to meet with Pope Francis I, I am interrupting the visit and returning to Armenia immediately.
May God be with Artsakh and support our brave soldiers and commanders.”