Kocharian Continues Official Lebanon Visit

BEIRUT–President Robert Kocharian continued his visit and talks with Lebanese officials aimed at boosting bilateral relations Wednesday on the second day of his official visit to Lebanon.

In the presence of the president–the Armenia-Lebanon Business Forum signed a cooperative agreement–following which Kocharian–accompanied by Lebanese defense minister and other high-ranking military officials visited the tomb of the unknown soldier.

Following this event–Kocharian headed for Lebanon University where he received an honorary doctoral degree from the university’s school of law and political sciences.

Kocharian later met with House Speaker Nabih Berri.

"There are many similarities between Lebanon and Armenia and both nations should try to benefit from them," Kocharian said.

Berri on his part praised Lebanese-Armenian relations and called for closer ties.

That afternoon–Kocharian visited the Armenian Catholic Patriarchate in Eshrefieh and the Armenian Evangelical headquarters in Mar Mkhael.

Following this–Kocharian met with representatives of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation–the Social Democratic Hunchakian Party and the Armenian Democratic League (Ramkavar Party) at the Armenian Embassy in Beirut.

At the Catholicosate of the Holy See of Cilicia–Kocharian met with His Holiness Catholicos Aram I–who presented the president with the "Large Cross" medal. At a solemn ceremony–Kocharian unveiled an exhibit of Armenian art from the Armenian National Museum at the Catholicosate’s "Cilicia" museum.

Kocharian held talks with Lebanese President Emile Lahoud on Tuesday.

Lahoud stressed during his talks with the Kocharian that Lebanon would not submit to Israeli intimidation and aggression and would not give up its right to liberate its land and people from Israeli occupation.

Kocharian presented Lahoud with the "Mesrob Mashtots" medal. The two presidents held the meetings in Armenian.

Kocharian arrived in Lebanon Tuesday for an official visit aimed at bolstering already strong ties between the two countries.

Kocharian was given a 21-gun salute at Beirut airport where he was met by Lebanese President Emile Lahoud–Prime Minister Selim al-Hoss and senior officials

According to Aztag daily newspaper–our sister publication in Beirut–Kocharian was taken to the Vandome Hotel where he was greeted by prime minister Selim Hoss and parliament speaker Nabih Berri. The president was also visited by His Holiness–Aram I–Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia.

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