YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–The civil funeral rites for Armenia’s ambassador to Lebanon Yervand Melkonian took place in Yerevan on Monday.
He died of a heart attack in New York at the age of 53. The ceremony was attended by Levon Ter-Petrosyan–National Assembly deputy speaker Ara Sahakian–Constitutional Court Chairman Gagik Harutiunian–Foreign Minister Alexander Arzoumanian–Head of the Ararat Diocese Archbishop Garegin Nersissian–National Assembly deputies–ministers–diplomats and other officials.
After the ceremony Archbishop Nerses Pozapalian informed that His Holiness Catholicos of All Armenia’s Karekin I had awarded Melkonian with the St. Sahak and St. Mashtots Order posthumously for his outstanding scientific activities.
Melkonian lectured at the Theological Seminary in Etchmiadzin. He was also editor for the Etchmiadzin magazine.
Melkonian died on Dec. 23. He was born in the city of Ghamyshli in Syria–in a family of refugees from Western Armenia. He received his secondary education in a local Armenian school–then in the monastery of Antilias.
He continued hiseducation at the Yerevan State University. While studying at the university–Melkonian demonstrated aptitude for philology–language and Armenian studies. He wrote a number of historic-philological research papers.
Along with scientific work Melkonian was also involved in editorial–translating and charity activity.
In 1994 Melkonian used his extensive experience and knowledge to develop the Armenia’s diplomatic corps.