ETCHMIADZIN (Noyan Tapan)–In addition to the telephone calls and messages of Armenia’s and foreigners from all parts of the world–congratulating and sending kind wishes to His Holiness Karekin II–Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenia’s–on the occasion of his 50th birthday–on August 21–people visited the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin to congratulate His Holiness as well.
The same day–a festive ceremony was held in the hall of the catholicos’ residence.
Prime Minister of Armenia–Andranik Margarian gave a warm speech congratulating and paying his respects to His Holiness and presented him with numerous memorable gifts.
Anatoli Drukov–Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the Republic of Armenia–conveyed Russian President Vladimir Putin’s message to the Catholicos. In the message it was stated that His Holiness is known as the advocate of centuries-old Armenian-Russian friendship–a person who has greatly contributed to the establishment of peace in the Caucasus region. "This year Armenia celebrates a great anniversary–the 1700th Anniversary of adoption of Christianity. I am sure that under your guidance the Armenian Apostolic Church will continue to contribute the strengthening of moral ideals and Armenian nation’s rich historical traditions," said Putin.
His Holiness has received congratulatory messages from Mr. Arthur Chilingarov–the Vice-Speaker of the Russian Federation’s State Duma–and Mr. Ilia Klebanov–the Vice-Chairman of the Russian Federation’s Government as well.
President Arkady Ghoukasian–Speaker of the National Assembly Oleg Yessayan–and Prime Minister Anoushavan Danielian of Karabakh–have sent a joint telegram–in which they wrote–"We remember well your pontifical visit to Artsakh–your inspiring message addressed to our people rebuilding its destroyed homeland–creating and consolidating its state independence. It is with gratitude and respect that we perceive your lofty attitude towards the faithful people of Artsakh."
Foreign Affairs Minister of Armenia Vardan Oskanain–representatives of foreign embassies–international organizations–members of the brotherhood of the Mother See–clergy–Armenia’s from the Diaspora–benefactors–well known political and party figures–scientists–intellectuals–teaching staffs and students of Kevorkian Theological Seminary and Vazkenian Seminary of Sevan–the staff of the Mother See all attended the ceremony.
At the end of the ceremony His Holiness expressed thanks and gratitude to the people in attendance. He noted with excitement that heartfelt and sincere expressions of congratulation–respect and esteem–addressed to him–are obliging and inspiring to more devoted service to the benefit of all the Armenian nation and the Armenian Church.