Hovanessian Speaks at Celebrations in Lebanon

BEIRUT (Aztag)–More than 5000 Armenia’s participated in celebrations dedicated to the 10th anniversary of Armenia’s independence Tuesday in Beirut–once again reaffirming the commitment of the Lebanese Armenian community in a free–independent and united Armenia.

Organized by the Public Relations committee of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation of Lebanon–the 10th anniversary celebrations took place at the "Shaghzoian" Center Auditorium on September 25.

Among the participants were Lebanon Prelate Bishop Gegham Khecherian–Dr. Jean Khanjian–the Chairman of Armenian Evangelical Community of Middle East–Lebanon’s minister of sports and youth affairs Sebouh Hovnanian–ARF Bureau member and chairman of Armenia’s parliamentary commission of defense and national security Vahan Hovanessian–Lebanese member of parliament George Kasardji– ARF Bureau member Yervand Pamboukian with other ARF Central Committee members–the Armenian Ambassador to Lebanon Arman Navasardian–Chairman of the National Statistical Administration of Lebanon Dr. Maral Gidanian–Ecology Ministry General Director Berj Hajian–as well as other local and state officials.

In his remarks–Hovanessian said that the regained republic of 1991 should have been proclaimed the continuation of the First Republic–as well as its successor stressing that it would have strengthened our mission on the international level since the First Republic had already developed a system and laws–which present-day Armenia has yet to achieve.

Hovanessian stressed that–on the other hand–the First Armenian Republic made claims on numerous Armenian territories–which continue to have significant importance in the national reality.

He also emphasized the importance of the Diaspora as a potential power for Armenia. On behalf of Armenia–Hovanessian expressed his gratitude to Armenia’s living in the Diaspora for their consistent support–expressing hope the a new constitution of Armenia will include the dual-citizenship issue–since all Armenia’s around the world have the right to become citizens of Armenia.

On Wednesday Hovanessian–accompanied with ARF Central Committee of Lebanon chairman Lebanese Central Committee representative Haroutiun Mkhitarian–and Central Committee member Tsolag Tutelian–as well as Sports Minister Sebouh Hovnanian visited Lebanese parliament Speaker Nebih Berri.

During the meeting political and parliamentary relations of Lebanon and Armenian were discussed as well as regional issues. When addressing journalists–Vahan Hovanessian stressed that presently since the region is facing possible threats–such meetings must be more frequent–considering that both Lebanon and Armenia can be supportive in Middle East stability.

He added that a delegation of Armenian Parliament headed by speaker Armen Khachatrian is planning a visit to Lebanon in late November.

The Hovanessian-led delegation later visited Lebanese Defense Minister Khalil Herawi–at which time regional security and cooperation issues were discussed.

On Thursday–Hovanessian–along with ARF Bureau member Yervand Pamboukian–Ambassador Arman Navasardian and ARF Central Committee’s Mkhitarian–and Tutelian visited His Holiness Aram I–Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia in Antelias–following which the delegation Armenian Embassy of Lebanon and was received by Ambassador Arman Navasardian–during which Lebanon-Armenia relations were discussed.

Later that day Hovanessian and his delegation met with Lebanese president Gen. Emile Lahoud and discussed bilateral relations between the Lebanon and Armenia–as well as the important role of the Lebanese-Armenian community in the advancement of Lebanese society.

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