Oskanian Meets Senior Lebanese Officials

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–A delegation led by Armenian Prime Minister Vardan Oskanian attended a meeting of representatives of organizations and unions of Armenian communities of Middle East countries at the Beirut-based "Demirchian" Center on May 19. The meeting was arranged within the framework of preparations for a pan-Armenian forum scheduled to be held in Yerevan in September.

The meeting was reportedly attended by 250 delegates from Syria–Lebanon–Egypt–the United Arab Emirates–Kuwait and Jordan.

The same day–Oskanian visited the Antilias Catholicosate to meet with Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia Aram I.

On May 20–Oskanian held meetings with the Catholicos of catholic Armenia’s the House of Cilicia Patriarch John-Peter XVIII and Chairman of the Union of Evangelic Churches of the Middle East Mkrtich Garakezian.

The same day Oskanian was received by Lebanese President Emil Lahud. The two discussed the current state of Armenian-Lebanese relations as well as prospects for their development. They also addressed a range of issues of regional concern. Oskanian referred to the importance of establishing peace and stability in the region–stressing the need for translating UN Resolution N 425 into action without preliminary conditions. He hoped for the recent elections in Israel to give a fresh impetus to the Middle East peace process.

The same day–Oskanian met with Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri. During the meeting the Armenian foreign minister stressed the importance of the activities of the Armenian-Lebanese interparliamentary commission–simultaneously presenting the course of preparations for the upcoming parliamentary elections in Armenia.

Thereafter Oskanian met with the country’s prime minister–minister for foreign affairs and refugee affairs Selim Hoss. Oskanian presented Armenia’s approach to the most recent peace plan for Karabakh proposed by the OSCE Minsk Group. The sides also discussed ways of developing bilateral economic cooperation. The Lebanese prime minister noted the importance of direct contacts between Armenian and Lebanese businessmen–in particular–cooperation between the chambers of commerce and industry of Yerevan and Beirut.

Later in the evening the Armenian delegation held meetings with representatives of the local Armenian community and Lebanese representatives of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation–the Ramkavar Azatakan Party and the Social Democratic "Hnchak" Party.

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