Armenia, Artsakh to Assit Lebanon

Tuesday's explosion in Beirut has covered the city in a cloud of smoke
Tuesday's explosion in Beirut has covered the city in a cloud of smoke

Tuesday’s explosion in Beirut has covered the city in a cloud of smoke

The Armenian government has pledged to send humanitarian assistance to Lebanon to helped the country, which is reeling from a massive explosion Tuesday at Beirut’s port.

Soon after the blast that rocked Lebanon, the leadership of Armenia and Artsakh were in touch with Lebanese government officials as well as community leaders to gain an understanding of the situation on the ground.

President Armen Sarkissian and Artsakh President Arayik Harutyunyan had conversations with His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia and offered assistance to the community.

Sarkissian told the Catholicos that Armenia was ready to assist Lebanon, saying that the Armenian community there had overcome major obstacles and pledged to “together we will face this challenge.”

“Artsakh stands with Lebanon,” Harutyunyan told the Catholicos.

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s spokesperson Mane Gevorgyan said on Wednesday the Armenia’s government has been in touch with their counterparts in Lebanon, as well as Armenian community leaders there. She said based on those discussions “We have found out the priorities and the government will send targeted aid to Beirut.”

Pashinyan said that he had spoken with Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun and had offered Armenia’s help to Lebanon.

On another front, Armenia’s High Commissioner for Diaspora Affairs Zareh Sinanyan said Wednesday that he and his office have been in direct and constant contact with the Lebanese Armenian community, including representatives of religious, healthcare, educational and charitable organizations, the media, as well as the Armenia’s Ambassador Vahagn Atabekyan.

According to Sinanyan’s press office, the most urgent needs are acquiring medication (especially for chronically ill patients), food and water, financial assistance for reconstruction efforts in Armenian populated neighborhoods (residential houses, shops, schools, churches, and community centers), assistance with and streamlining of the repatriation process for those who would like to repatriate to Armenia.

Sinanyan said that he spoke to Aram I, who was planning to meet with community leaders late Wednesday.

Late Wednesday, a group of repatriates to Armenia staged a candlelight vigil in support of Lebanon in Yerevan’s Republic Square.

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