As part of his visit to Israel, President Armen Sarkissian met with his Palistinian and Israeli counterparts, advancing a message of cooperation between Armenia and the two states.
On Friday, Sarkissian met with Palestine National Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, with whom he discussed among other things the Authority’s diligent care for the Armenian section of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.
Sarkissian told Abbas that the Church of the Nativity is not only a part of history and Christianity, but also a part of Armenia, the Armenian culture and heritage, and most importantly the Armenian Church.
“We are grateful for your support for the preservation of the Armenian spiritual-historic legacy and Christian values,” Sarkissian said.
President Sarkissian, along with first lady, Nouneh visited the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, where they were greeted by Archbishop Sevan Gharibian, the Grand Sacristan of the Armenian Apostolic Patriarchate of Jerusalem, and other representatives of the Armenian clergy.
President Sarkissian told the clergy that the Armenian people have tremendous cultural, spiritual values in this land, and there is a need to show it much better to both Jerusalem visitors and the world at large.
According to the President, this holy land and place can become a bridge for people who visit here to get to know Armenia, the great Armenian spiritual and cultural heritage and values.
On Saturday Sarkissian met with President Reuven Rivlin of Israel, who thanked the Armenian leader for his participation the Fifth World Holocaust Forum, saying that Armenians and Jews share a very bloody history.
Sarkissian outlined the great potential for cooperation and collaboration between Armenia and Israel, the Armenian and Jewish people.
He told Rivlin that he considered it important for Israel to play a leading role in recognizing the Armenian Genocide, stressing that this recognition and condemnation is necessary for such humanitarian catastrophes to never recur.
As for the prospects of cooperation, Sarkissian noted that the future belongs to the latest technology, expressed confidence that the two countries can successfully cooperate in this field, and said his goal is to establish close links with Israeli technical universities.
The two leaders agreed that the potential for cooperation between Armenia and Israel is quite large, and that a lot of work needs to be done involving the Diaspora of both countries.
Sarkissian invited Rivlin to visit Armenia.
Sarkissian and the first lady visited the Armenian Cathedral of Saint James in Jerusalem, where they laid a wreath at the monument erected next to the cathedral to commemorate the victims of the Armenian Genocide.
The history and historical and cultural values of the Cathedral of Saint James were presented to the President.
They also visited the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem, where they met with the Jerusalem Patriarch, Archbishop Nourhan Manoukian. They talked about Armenian national church issues and the activities of the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem.