President Serzh Sargsyan today hosted His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians and His Holiness Moran Mor Ignatius Aphrem II, Head of the Syriac Orthodox Church and Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, President’s Press Office reported.
Welcoming the Patriarchs of the Armenian Apostolic and the Syriac Orthodox Churches, the Armenian President attached importance to developing relations between the two sister churches and promoting cooperation. Serzh Sargsyan expressed the hope that the visit of the Patriarch of the Syriac Orthodox Church will give a new stimulus to conducting constructive dialog between the two sister churches.
The interlocutors agreed that rooted in the same Christology and holy tradition, the Armenian and Syriac sister churches have been operating side by side for centuries making a unique contribution to strengthening ties between the two friendly peoples. They attached great value to further reinforcing friendly relations between the Armenian and Syriac peoples and churches having deep historical roots and considered the visit of the Patriarch of the Syriac Orthodox Church as a mutual desire to enhance ties.
According to President Serzh Sargsyan, the loyalty to spiritual values and traditions is the guarantee of the Armenian and Syriac peoples’ millennial existence.
The Patriarch of the Syriac Orthodox Church underlined with satisfaction that it is his first post-election foreign visit and he is happy to arrive in the Republic of Armenia being hosted in the Mother See of Holy Echmiadzin since he has enjoyed an unconditional friendship with the Armenian people and the Armenian Apostolic Church for years.
Touching upon the difficult situation in the Middle East, particularly in Syria, caused by the long-lasting crisis and military operations, the interlocutors noted that both the Armenian and Syriac peoples feel very sorry for that situation because Syria is a second homeland to numerous Armenians and Syriacs. They were sorry to mention that together with the local population, the Armenian and Syriac communities in Syria continue to suffer casualties and material losses.
President Serzh Sargsyan underscored that since the very beginning of the Syrian crisis Armenia has favored a rapid and peaceful resolution based on nationwide dialogue and it is doing its best to make a modest contribution to that by permanently speaking out against the barbarities of Islamic extremists towards religious and national minorities as a result of the crisis in the Middle East.