Remarks by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia Ararat Mirzoyan during the joint statement for the press with the Substitute for General Affairs of the Secretariat of the Holy See Archbishop Edgar Peña Parra27 October, 2021
I am delighted to welcome the Substitute for General Affairs of the Secretariat of the Holy See Archbishop Edgar Peña Parra in Armenia- the first country to adopt Christianity as a state religion.
You probably know that a significant event in the Armenian-Vatican relations will soon take place: the resident Apostolic Nunciature of the Holy See in Armenia is opening. I would like to commend that this opens a new page in the history of diplomatic relations between Armenia and the Holy See.
During our meeting today, we exchanged views on bilateral relations, expressing readiness to deepen relations between our countries, enshrined in common Christian values, historical-cultural ties, as well as conscientious approaches to the issues of international relations.
We touched upon the visit of the President of the Republic of Armenia to the Holy See a few days ago.
We also highlighted the importance of the February 27 marking in the main Roman calendar as the day of remembrance of St. Gregory of Narek, the great son of the Armenian people and the Doctor of the Ecumenical Church, which once again emphasizes the religious connection between Armenia and the Holy See.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The Holy See has always stood by Armenia in difficult times for the Armenian people and last year was no exception.
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 Artsak, as well as the calls for the immediate release of prisoners of war, were of great importance. 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.
I would like to note that after the 44-day war, the Armenian historical-cultural and religious heritage of Artsakh in the territories fallen under the control of Azerbaijan is now in constant danger of destruction. Meanwhile, 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 we should undertake steps to prevent these incidents.
I would like to underline that 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.
I conclude my speech here and I convey Your Eminence to Edgar Pena Parra. Once again I am glad to welcome you in Yerevan.