We are proud and grateful for the Pope’s visit to Armenia and his attitude, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan said in an interview with Vatican Radio ahead of the Pontiff’s visit.
“For years he has expressed his warm attitude and respect for the nation, which was the first to adopt Christianity as state religion, and as we, Armenians, understand, this comes from his beliefs, from his heart,” the President said.
Speaking about the expectations from the visit, President Sargsyan said: “Fifteen years ago Pope John Paul’s visit to Armenia was dedicated to the 1700th anniversary of adoption of Christianity. Pope Francis’ visit is dedicated to another important jubilee – the 25th anniversary of Armenia’s independence.”
“The relations between Armenia and Vatican have always been remarkable for the high-level political dialogue, because the relations are based on similar Christian values, common historical heritage and principles and similar approaches towards issue of the contemporary world, which are hard to solve,” President Sargsyan said.
He added that the relations further deepened after the opening of the Armenian Embassy at the Vatican and the Holy Mass the Pontiff celebrated on the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. The President also attached importance to the proclamation of Gregory of Narek as ‘doctor of church.’
Speaking about the Karabakh issue, President Sargsyan said “our position is clear.” “The Karabakh conflict should be solved exceptionally in a peaceful way. Before the April events we were speaking about mutual concessions, today it’s hard for people to understand that speaking about concessions is possible with a country, which violates its international commitments. I’m confident, however, that we’ll find the best solution to the Karabakh issue, the best for the people of Nagorno Karabakh, not for Azerbaijan or Armenia,” President Sargsyan said.