ANTELIAS: HH Aram I receives a high-ranking French delegation

Catholicosate of Cilicia
Communication and Information Department
Contact: V.Rev.Fr.Krikor Chiftjian, Communications Officer
Tel: (04) 410001, 410003
Fax: (04) 419724
E- mail: [email protected]

PO Box 70 317
Armenian version:

Said His Holiness Aram I

Speaking to a French delegation composed of high-ranking clergymen,
representing Roman Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant churches of France, His
Holiness Aram I said, that "the new political landscape in Lebanon is due to
the emergence of two visions of Lebanon. Continuation of this situation may
have far-reaching consequences not only for Lebanon but for the whole
region". The Catholicos reminded his visitors that "parallelism created by
these two visions of Lebanon may be soon turned into conflict if it is not
transformed to a global vision based on the unity, independence and
sovereignty of Lebanon".

Aram I stated that Lebanon "cannot afford anymore partial and provisional
arrangements for the problems it faces. Lebanon needs a comprehensive and
permanent solution which must emerge from within and be fully supported by
regional and international powers".

According to His Holiness, the only serious possibility to bring the
country out of this political stalemate is an initiative taken by Saudi
Arabia in consultation and collaboration with Iran and Syria and with the
blessing of U.S.A., Russia and France. Through this initiative community and
political leaders of Lebanon should come together to reach a consensus on
the international tribunal, the future president, strategy concerning the
resistance, and implementation of Tayef Agreement. His Holiness said that he
has already shared his views with some ambassadors a few months ago.

In response to some concerns and questions raised by the delegation, Aram
I said that the Lebanese conflict is not and has never been a religious one
"Christian-Muslim coexistence is solid more than ever and we must not allow
religion to be used for political ends".

The French delegation included His Eminence Cardinal Jean-Pierre Ricard,
Archbishop of Bordeaux, President of the Conference of Catholic Bishops in
France, Reverend Jean-Arnold de Clermont, President of the Protestant
Federation in France, Metripolitan Emmanuel, Presidnet of the Orthodox
Boshops Assembly in France, His Grace Stanislas Lalanne, General Secretary
of the Ctaholic Bishops Conference in France, and His Grace Luigi Gatti,
Apostolic Nuncio in Lebanon. Attending the meeting were also Bishop Kegham
Khatcherian, Armenian Primate of the Diocese of Lebanon, and Bishop Nareg
Alemezian, Ecumenical Officer of the Catholicosate.

View the photo here:
The Armenian Catholicosate of Cilicia is one of the two Catholicosates of
the Armenian Orthodox Church. For detailed information about the history and
the mission of the Cilician Catholicosate, you may refer to the web page of
the Catholicosate, The Cilician Catholicosate, the
administrative center of the church is located in Antelias, Lebanon.

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