Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin – 3/5/17
On April 26, in the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians; received Mr. Mohammad Hamid Ansari, Vice-President of India and President of the Upper House of Parliament. Vice President Hamid Ansari was accompanied by his delegation, and Mr. Edward Nalbandian, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia.
During the meeting, His Holiness welcomed the steps being taken aimed at strengthening the friendly ties between the two nations, and the increase in cooperation between the two countries in various fields. Speaking on the historical Armenian-Indian relations, the Armenian Pontiff referred to the important role of the Armenian community in India.
His Holiness noted that even today, the Armenian community in India continues to fully live a national – ecclesiastical life, to which the Armenian Philanthropic Academy of Calcutta, established in 1821, adds liveliness.
In his remarks, the Catholicos of All Armenians also expressed gratitude for the caring attitude provided by the Indian authorities towards the Armenian community, Armenian historical sanctuaries, and Armenian heritage. His Holiness informed the Vice President of India about the measures undertaken by the Mother See and the Armenian community of Calcutta aimed at the preservation of Armenian churches and the expansion of educational activities of the Academy.
Vice President Hamid Ansari spoke about the historical presence of Armenians in India, stressing that as he was born in Calcutta, he is familiar with the Armenians and their history. The Vice President noted that there have been close ties with the Armenians: for centuries the Armenians have contributed to the life of the India in various aspects. In his remarks, the Vice President also agreed that the basis of friendship between the two peoples are strong and deep.
During the meeting, they reflected on the history of Holy Etchmiadzin and the role of the Armenian Church in the national life.