At the invitation of President Serzh Sargsyan, at Saturday night the Prince and Grand Master of the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Malta Fra Matthew Festing arrived to the Republic of Armenia on a state visit.
The official welcoming ceremony for the Prince and Grand Master of the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Malta Fra Matthew Festing and his delegation took place at the Presidential Palace. Later, the President of Armenia and the Grand Master held a meeting with the participation of the official delegations.
“Your Most Eminent Highness, it gives me a special pleasure to greet you in Armenia. I am greatly honored to welcome you and your delegation. The visit of the Grand Master of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta to Armenia is a very important event in the history of our diplomatic relations and it, I am sure, will allow us to invigorate our cooperation.
Ties between the first Christian nation and the oldest Christian Order had formed back in times of the crusades and were based on mutual respect and mutual benefit. We share the same Christian values, and they constitute the base which allows us today to form active interstate relations. I am aware that the agenda of your visit to our country is pretty full. I hope that in the process you will have the opportunity to familiarize with our people, our Christian culture which in a way is similar to the common Christian culture but is also unique, special. Welcome to Armenia,” said the President of Armenia in his welcoming remarks.
The Prince and Grand Master of the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Malta Fra Matthew Festing thanked the President of Armenia for the warm welcome and hospitality and stressed the importance of his state visit to Armenia from the viewpoint of further strengthening of the bilateral relations. “I was really delighted for the opportunity to meet with you at the Saint Peter’s Cathedral where you had arrived to participate at the holy mass dedicated to the memory of the saint martyrs of the Armenian Genocide. I believe that it is critical that the Christian nations and representatives of the Christian organizations establish very close relations, considering prevailing in these times secular morals. It is particularly important in the light of the extraordinary problems which we face nowadays, particularly, the flow of migrants, problems of refugees and their movements. I believe in that context it is crucial for us to maintain a constant contact, exchanging views and coordinating our approaches. That is why these relations are so important,” said His Most Eminent Highness the Prince and Grand Master of the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Malta Fra Matthew Festing at the meeting with the President of Armenia.