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November 30
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Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan received Substitute for General Affairs of the Secretariat of State at the Holy See, Archbishop Edgar Peña Parra and the delegation led by him. The meeting was attended by the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Armenia to the Vatican Karen Nazaryan and the Apostolic Nuncio of the Holy See Archbishop José Avelino Bettencourt.

In his welcoming remarks PM Pashinyan said,

“Your Excellency, dear members of the delegation,

Welcome to the Republic of Armenia. I would like to reaffirm our readiness and determination to develop interstate relations with the Holy See, and I am glad that the Apostolic Nunciature of the Holy See was officially opened in Yerevan yesterday. It will be a very strong impetus for our relationship.

Our relations have deep historical basis, and they are also based on common Christian values, which is a very important fact. In this regard, I would like to thank you for the important positions expressed by the Holy See during the 44-day war. I also attach great importance to our cooperation in the preservation of the Armenian cultural and Christian cultural heritage in the territories under the control of Azerbaijan.

We are grateful to His Holiness for his commitment to deepen our bilateral relations. I remember, of course, our telephone conversation with His Holiness during the difficult time. Please convey my greetings to His Holiness and to Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin. I welcome you again, I am glad for this opportunity to meet and discuss the issues on the agenda of our relations”.

The Substitute for General Affairs of the Secretariat of State at the Holy See said in his turn,

“Thank you, honorable Mr. Prime Minister. Today is the second and last day of my visit. I was in Yerevan on the occasion of the opening of the Holy See Embassy, the Apostolic Nunciature, and took the opportunity to meet with the Armenian authorities. Thank you very much for hosting me and our delegation.

I would like to thank you for this meeting and emphasize that the opening of the Holy See's Apostolic Nunciature will continue to strengthen our bilateral relations, especially in the areas we have already discussed in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other state bodies that are important for our relations.

His Holiness and Cardinal Parolin convey greetings and best wishes to personally you and the Republic of Armenia. We will continue to cooperate on our common agenda, focusing on a number of important issues, including the issue of Armenian war prisoners”.

The Prime Minister thanked for the Pope’s calls for the immediate release of the Armenian prisoners of war held by Azerbaijan, and his readiness to continue the steps taken in this direction, emphasizing that international support is needed to resolve the issue.

The interlocutors exchanged views on Armenia-Vatican relations and regional issues. Nikol Pashinyan noted that the Armenian government is committed to the agenda of opening a peaceful era in the region, but the commitment of all the involved parties to that process is important. Both sides highlighted the contribution of the Holy See and Armenia to the maintenance of global peace.

Edgar Peña Parra assured that the Holy See will continue its efforts to preserve the Armenian religious and cultural heritage in the territories under the control of Azerbaijan and to resolve the issue of the return of Armenian prisoners of war.

The Prime Minister attached importance to the fraternal ties between the Roman Catholic, Armenian Apostolic and Armenian Catholic Churches, which is a solid foundation for Armenia-Vatican relations. Nikol Pashinyan expressed confidence that this dynamic will be maintained and will further develop as a result of the opening of the diplomatic mission of the Vatican in Armenia.

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