Pope Francis received Serzh Sargsyan, President of the Republic of Armenia in the Vatican on Thursday morning before meeting with the Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II, and with Aram I, the Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia.
Following the meetings, the Pope and the Armenian delegation participated in an inauguration ceremony and blessing of a statue of Saint Gregory of Narek in the Vatican gardens.
A Holy See Press Office communiqué said that during the cordial discussions that took place between the Pope and the President, keen satisfaction was expressed for the good relations that exist between the Holy See and Armenia.
It also noted that the inauguration of the statute of Saint Gregory of Narek provided an opportunity to build upon these relations and to strengthen those that exist between the Armenian Apostolic Church and the Catholic Church.
Pope Francis and Sargasyan also touched upon issues related to the political context of the region and expressed hope for the solution of situations of conflict. They also turned their attention to other current international issues including the situation of Christians and religious minorities in conflict areas.
President Sargasyan subsequently went on to meet with Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin and with the Vatican Secretary for Relations with States, Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher.