Aram I Meets With Romanian President

BUCHAREST–His Holiness–Aram I–Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia met with Romanian President Emil Constantinescu on Monday. Present at the meeting were Armenian Prelate–Archbishop Dirayr Mardigian–the Armenian Ambassador to Romania–representative from the Holy See of Echmiadzin–Doctor of Divinity Michaiel Achabahian and representative from the Holy See of Cilicia Doctor of Divinity–Meghrig Parikian.

During the hour-long meeting–the two sides addressed relationships between Armenia and Romania. Also discussed were issues relating to the cooperation between the Armenian Church and Romania’s Orthodox Church along with talks about issues relating to the Diaspora–especially issues pertaining to the Middle East.

The Romanian President commended the positive influence of the Armenian community in Romania and promised to do his best to further economic cooperation with Armenia.

The President sincerely thanked Aram I for receiving his invitation to visit Romania and offered him a departing present as a token of his appreciation.

On Monday morning–Aram I chaired an international inter-church general assembly–addressing the issue of "Inter-church relations in the 21st century." At the forum the keynote speakers were–the Vatican’s representative and speaker on inter-church relations–Cardinal Cassidi–Cardinal Echegari of the Vatican’s Committee on "Peace and Justice," Patriarch Peter VII of Alexandria–the chair of the Methodist Church and the chair of the Church of England.

During his closing speech Aram I–made several key points about the problems and setbacks in church relations and the future leadership that is going to drive the Church as a whole into the 21st century.

Aram I also met with the Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox church Teoctist. Certain issues pertaining to both churches were stressed–and departing gifts were presented by both sides.

On Monday night–Aram I also paid an official visit to the Armenian Embassy. The Lebanese Ambassador to Romania hosted a banquet in honor of the Catholicos’ visit.

On an additional note–the inter-church general assembly came to a close Monday.

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