President Kocharian takes Presidential oath on the original Constitution of the Republic of Armenia and a 7th century Bible.

YEREVAN (Combined Sources)–President Robert Kocharian was sworn in on April 9 for a second five-year term in office–at a ceremony held during a special session of Armenia’s parliament.

Placing his hand on the original Constitution of the Republic of Armenia and the oldest surviving complete man’script–a 7th century Bible–the President took Armenia’s Presidential oath:

"Assuming the post of the President of the Republic of Armenia– I do solemnly swear to faithfully follow the requiremen’s of the Constitution–to respect human rights and the rights and liberties of citizens–to protect the independence–territorial integrity and security of the Republic for the glory of our Fatherland and for the well-being of our people."

In his blessing–Karekin II–Catholicos of All Armenia’s said "Honorable Mr. President–you have contributed greatly to re-establishing and strengthening the national statehood of Armenia and Artsakh during a difficult–yet heroic and victorious–journey–serving in the ran’s of the defenders of the Homeland’s native soil–to the high office of president. Once again today–when our country and our people are standing before a myriad of imperatives–you have been called to the highest responsibility. First and foremost–all expectations and hopes are directed towards you . . . "

The President then delivered his inaugural speech (complete text on page 10).

US Ambassador to Armenia John Ordway was present at the inauguration ceremony along with other top Western diplomats in Yerevan.

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