His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Armenian Church of the Catholicosate of Cilicia, met with the Right Honourable Mr. Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, on June 3, 2015, Horizon Weekly reports.
On the occasion of the hundredth anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, the Pontiff expressed his gratitude to the Prime Minister on Canada’s recognition of the Armenian Genocide, discussed his concerns regarding the conflict in Syria and the impact it has on the Christians and Armenians in the area since its eruption in 2011. His Holiness also informed Mr. Harper on the lawsuit the Catholicosate of Cilicia has filed in Turkey’s Constitutional Court, requesting the return of the historical Catholicosate of Sis, which was forcefully taken by the Ottoman Turkish Empire, as were all Armenian churches and institutions.
During this visit, His Holiness Aram I also decorated the Right Honourable Mr. Stephen Harper with the Prince of Cilicia medal, the highest insignia of the Catholicosate of Cilicia.
His Holiness was joined by the following delegation, Bishop Meghrig Parikian, Prelate of the Armenian Prelacy of Canada, Most Reverend Father Housig Mardirossian, Ecumenic Relations Officer of the Catholicosate, Krikor Der Ghazarian, Chairperson of the Executive Council of the Armenian Prelacy of Canada, Dr. Girair Basmadjian, member of the Central Executive Council of the Catholicosate, Raffi Donabedian, Chairperson of the Armenian National Committee of Canada, and Hagop Der Khatchadourian, President of the Armenian National Committee International Council.