ArmInfo.The opening of the Apostolic Nunciature of the Holy See in Yerevan is an important event that will open a new page in the history of diplomatic relations between Armenia and the Vatican. Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan stated this on October 27 in Yerevan during a statement for the press following a meeting with Substitute for General Affairs of the Secretariat of the Holy See Archbishop Edgar Pena Parra.
According to the Armenian Minister, a wide range of issues of bilateral relations was discussed at the meeting and an agreement was reached on deepening cooperation between Armenia and the Vatican. The recent visit of the RA President to the Holy See was also touched upon.
At the same time, Mirzoyan stated that the Holy See has always supported Armenia in its difficult times, and last year was no exception from this point of view.
He stressed the importance for Armenia of the consistent position of the Vatican on Nagorno-Karabakh and the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, as well as on the issue of establishing long-term peace in the region.
"In particular, in the days of Azerbaijan's large-scale military aggression against Artsakh, and the post-war period, the messages of His Holiness, as well as calls for the release of prisoners of war had an important role. As you know, Azerbaijan continues to hold Armenian prisoners of war and civilian hostages in violation of international humanitarian law and its obligations under the trilateral declaration of November 9, 2020. And we ask that Pope Francis, in his prayers and public messages, continue to remember the Armenian prisoners of war, and indicate the imperative for their immediate release, "the Armenian Foreign Minister said.
At the same time, Mirzoyan also pointed out the need to protect and preserve the Armenian cultural and religious heritage in the territories of Artsakh, which came under Azerbaijani control as a result of the 44- day aggression. He recalled that currently this heritage is under the threat of complete destruction. "And from this point of view, we pointed out the importance of the interest of both UNESCO and the Holy See in this issue. Barbarism in relation to historical and cultural monuments, which are the religious and cultural heritage of peoples, grossly violate international law and steps should be taken to prevent it," said the Armenian Minister.
He also expressed gratitude to Francis for his principled position on the Armenian Genocide, pointing out the importance of this approach in preventing new crimes against humanity in the world.
In turn, Edgar Pena Parra also highly appreciated the opening of the Apostolic Nunciature of the Holy See in Yerevan, expressing gratitude to the RA President and Government for promoting this issue. "I am sure that the opening of the Apostolic Nunciature of the Holy See in Yerevan will become a symbol for Armenia and the international community as a whole for building bridges in the region, establishing a just and lasting peace," Parra noted, adding that next year Armenia and the Vatican will to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. He expressed hope that the Munciature will further deepen political and religious cooperation between the two countries.
At the same time, he informed that the Catholic Church is present in Armenia through various social and humanitarian projects.
In conclusion, he expressed his conviction that the presence of the Nunciature would be useful in terms of eliminating possible problems and finding satisfactory solutions through legal instruments.
"I would like to reaffirm the support of the Holy See for topical issues on the agenda of the Armenian government and issues on the international agenda aimed at peace and disarmament, human rights, religious freedoms, protection of human and cultural capital, as well as environmental issues," he concluded.