Acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan meets with Prime Minister Saad Hariri.

Pashinyan Visits Lebanon, Meets with Leadership

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BEIRUT (Combined Sources) — During his working visit to Lebanon on October 20 and 21, Armenian Acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan met Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri.

Pashinyan thanked Hariri for the warm reception and hospitality. “This is my first visit to Brotherly Lebanon, a country full of history of ancient civilizations. I am convinced that this visit will best contribute to the debate on the agenda of bilateral cooperation in different spheres. Of course, your father, Rafik Hariri, who was a great friend of Armenia, had a great contribution to the deepening and strengthening of ties between our countries.”

Acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Prime Minister Saad Hariri pose for a selfie.

Hariri noted that Lebanon appreciates the close cooperation with Armenia and is interested in its strengthening it further. He attached importance to the Lebanese-Armenian community’s role in the development of the country, as well as the deepening of Armenian-Lebanese ties.

The interlocutors exchanged views on the domestic situation in the two countries.

Pashinyan touched upon the pan-national processes in Armenia in April-May of this year, presented the political changes, the current processes and the expected developments.

Pashinyan and Hariri noted with satisfaction that there is a high level of political dialogue between the two countries and encouraged adding the economic component to that bar

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Pashinyan presented the steps undertaken by the government of Armenia to improve the business environment in Armenia, to ensure the protection of investments and proposed to organize a visit to Lebanese business circles to get acquainted with the conditions on the spot.

The sides discussed issues related to expanding cooperation in agriculture, transport, tourism, as well as in other spheres of mutual interest. The interlocutors expressed satisfaction with the process of cooperation in the field of tourism, the positive momentum of which was the direct air communication between the two countries.

Pashinyan welcomed and highlighted the interest of Lebanese companies in making investments in Armenia and accessing third markets through Armenia.

At the end of the meeting, Pashinyan signed the Golden Book of Honorable Guests.

Lighting a candle at the Zmmar Monastery

Pashinyan also met with President Michel Aoun.

“Since Armenia’s independence in 1991, the relations between our countries have been consistently enriched with a new quality, which is characteristic of two friendly countries and brotherly nations. We should make best out of that to strengthen our partnership and implementation of common goals,” Pashinyan stated.

Pashinyan pointed out that the Armenian people have special gratitude toward friendly Lebanon, namely the fact that the country hosts the Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia of the Armenian Apostolic Church since 1994 in Antelias.

Moreover, Pashinyan added that Armenians feel a sense of gratitude toward Lebanon and Lebanese people for accommodating the refugees escaping the Armenian Genocide. “Lebanon is the only country in the region that has officially recognized the Armenian Genocide which is important not only for preserving the historical memory but also preventing the crime of genocide,” Pashinyan stressed.

President Aoun, in turn, welcomed Pashinyan’s visit, emphasizing it would further strengthen and deepen the traditionally friendly relations between the two countries.

During the meeting the interlocutors discussed the bilateral trade and economic relations between Lebanon and Armenia as well as opportunities to expand the scope of cooperation.

Pashinyan also visited Armenian educational and spiritual-cultural centers in Beirut.

He first visited Haigazian University, where he met with members of the Council of the Armenian Evangelical Churches of the Middle East and the professors of Haigazian University, and representatives of the Armenian schools in Beirut.

Pashinyan was presented a monument dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. He, in turn, praised the work carried out by Haigazian University in the field of Armenology.

Acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan poses for a selfie with a Haigazian University student.

Pashinyan also made a note in the Book of Honorable Guests at Haigazian University.

The next stop was the patriarchal union of the Armenian Catholic Church, where he met Bishop Gevorg Asatourian, Bishop of Beirut, Archbishop Gabriel Muradyan of Zmmar Monastery and Anthony Vardapet Noratuncyan.

Pashinyan and his wife, Anna Hakobyan, partook at the chapel’s welcome prayer by the spiritual representatives of the Armenian Catholic Patriarchate and the members of the Zmmar Monastery, lit candles in the Church of the Monastic Complex, visited the museum and the Matenadaran.

Muradyan, on behalf of the Patriarchal Congregation of Zmmar, presented Pashinyan with a picture of the Virgin.

Pashinyan thanked the church for the warm reception, noting: “It is a very exciting occasion for me because I am at the Catholic Church for the first time and in such an environment. This is a memorable visit to me that will keep me going. One of the most important issues in Armenia and the Diaspora is that we do not have dividing lines. We are one nation, we come from the same place and aspire to the same place, we have common dreams at the center of which are the Republic of Armenia, the Republic of Artsakh and the Armenian people.”

The Acting Prime Minister attached importance to the activities of one of the most important cultural and cultural centers of Armenia, namely Zmmar’s activity in the preservation of historical and cultural heritage and national identity, strengthening the Armenia-Diaspora ties.

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