The Holy See has always stood by Armenia in difficult times for the Armenian people and last year was no exception, Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan said at a joint press conference with visiting Substitute for General Affairs of the Secretariat of the Holy See Archbishop Edgar Peña Parra.
“The consistent position of the Vatican on the peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, as well as on maintaining peace and stability in the region is remarkable for us. Particularly, the messages of His Holiness during and after the aggression of Azerbaijan against Artsakh, as well as the calls for the immediate release of prisoners of war, were of great importance,” Minister Mirzoyan said.
“As you know, Azerbaijan still violates international humanitarian law, as well as the provisions of the November 9 trilateral statement, and continues to hold Armenian prisoners of war and captured civilians. We ask His Holiness the High Priest to always remember the Armenian prisoners of war in his prayers and public messages and to stress the need for their immediate release,” he added.
He noted that after the 44-day war, the Armenian historical-cultural and religious heritage of Artsakh in the territories currently under the control of Azerbaijan is now in constant danger of destruction. Meanwhile, he said, the atrocities against the places of worship and historical-cultural monuments, which are the cultural and spiritual heritage of the peoples, grossly violate international law and stressed the need to undertake steps to prevent these incidents.
“The Armenian people are grateful to His Holiness the High Priest for the principled and unequivocal message of the recognition of the Armenian Genocide. Condemnation of this crime against humanity is of utmost importance for preventing recurrence of such atrocities in other parts of the world,” the Foreign Minister stated.