Catholicos Karekin II to Meet Azeri President

BAKU (Panorama.am)—His Holiness Catholicos Karekin II is scheduled to meet with Azeri President Ilham Aliyev in Baku on April 26. The meeting will take place on the sidelines of a summit of world religious leaders which he is to attend, the Armenian panorama.am online news service reported Friday.

Karekin II is traveling to Baku on Monday at the invitation of Azerbaijan’s Shia Muslim leader, Sheikh-ul-Islam Allahshukur Pashazade, and Russia’s Patriarch Kirill. The latter reaffirmed the invitation during a visit to Armenia last month.

The Armenian Church said Thursday that Pashazade, Karekin II, Kirill, as well as the head of the Georgian Orthodox Church, Patriarch-Catholicos Ilia II, will hold a joint meeting on the margins of the April 27-29 summit that will bring together over 150 religious leaders from around the world. A joint statement on the regional issues will be signed following the meeting.

Karekin II will also meet with Sheikh-Al-Islam of Azerbaijan and is set to attend a reception hosted by President Aliyev.

The Armenian Catholicos will be accompanied by Archbishop Yeznik Petrosyan, General Secretary for Inter-Church Relations of the Mother See of Holy Echmiadzin, Bishop Hovakim Manukyan, the Director of the Inter-Church Relations Office, and the Church head of communications Priest Vahram Melikyan. Archbishop Vigen Ayqazyan will also participate in the conference as the leader of the National Council of U.S. Churches.

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