Catholicos Aram I Meets with Ahmadinejad
ANTELIAS (Armenpress)–His Holiness Aram I of the Great House of Cilicia met with the President of Iran on Wednesday on the final leg of a pontifical visit to Iran that began on October 29.
Talks between the Catholicos and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad centered on the Armenian community in Iran and inter-faith dialogue between Christians and Muslims.
The Catholicos was in to Iran to participate in the third session of the Christian-Muslim Dialogue, started eight years ago between the Interfaith Dialogue Department of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Armenian Catholicosate of Cilicia.
He was accompanied by H.E. Archbishop Sebouh Sarkissian of Tehran, H.G. Bishop Papken Charian of Isfahan, and the two Armenian deputies in the Iranian parliament, Kevork Vartanian and Robert Peklarian.
During the meeting, Ahmadinejad praised as “constructive” the role played by Iran’s Armenian community, the largest Christian minority in the country. Over 150.000 Armenia’s live in Iran, concentrated mostly in Tehran, Tabriz, Isfahan, and Urmia.
Aram I commended the Iranian government for respecting Armenian cultural, educational, and legal rights, describing the relationship between Armenia’s and Iranians in the country as peaceful.
Ahmadinejad, for his part, stressed the importance of the role of religion in a world dominated by wars, conflicts, poverty and injustice.