Remarks by Ambassador Tigran Balayan at the reception in honor of Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia.


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Your Holiness, Dear Catholicos,
Your Eminence Archbishop Barsamian,
Reverend fathers,
Spiritual leaders,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dear friend, Ambassador Issa,

First of all, I would like to express my sincere gratitude for hosting us at your residence.

It is an honor and utmost privilege to welcome in the Netherlands, His Holiness Aram the First, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia.

Aram Catholicos is one of the most prominent and respected individuals not only in Armenia and Diaspora but also in the religious cycles on different continents. His leadership and exemplary wisdom is a driving force for generations.

Ladies and Gentlemen, it is not a coincidence that we are hosted in the residence of Lebanese Ambassador, as Lebanon itself embodies the religious and cultural diversity of the Middle East, tolerance and respect to each others faith. On Lebanese soil, tens of thousands of my compatriots had found a safe refuge after fleeing the horrrors of the Armenian genocide in the Ottoman Empire 100 yeras ago. Lebanon became a second home for hundreds of thousands of Armenians, and one of the cradles of the Armenian Diaspora. And since 1930 Antilias became the headquarters of the Great House of Cilicia.

Multiethnic and multifaith mosaic of Lebanon embodies the very notion of living together: the symbolic motto and the philosophy of the Armenian Diaspora - well integrated into societies of the country of their residence, at the same time keeping their national identity, religion and language.

Being one of the spiritual leaders of Lebanon, Aram the First, over the years spreads that message on behalf of Armenian people and Lebanon around the world and with that mission His Holiness has arrived to the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the land of tolerance and diversity.

On behalf of our compatriots living in the Netherlands, with several of them present here, I would like to welcome Your Holiness and wish you a successful mission.

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