ANTELIAS–His Holiness Aram I–the Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia–in a letter sent Thursday–congratulated and expressed his best wishes to Arkady Ghoukassian–the newly-elected president of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. The translated text of that letter follows, Dear Mr. President,
With much delight–we received the news of your election as the president of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. This election proves once again–that the Armenia’s of Karabakh do possess the right to self-determination–and that they must be able to decide their own fate at their free will.
This election is also testament to the confidence–which the Armenia’s of Karabakh have expressed toward your dedication and continuous work in the national liberation struggle of our nation. With this election–indeed–Karabakh has called upon you to lead. And we are confident that with revitalized faith and dedication you shall continue strengthening Karabakh with its people and its armed forces–on your path to securing the just rights of the Karabakh Armenia’s.
On this occasion–please accept our best wishes. Please know that the Catholicosate of the Holy See of Cilicia will continue to stand behind the Armenia’s of Karabakh–supporting and encouraging the nation’s struggle in its pursuit of a stronger independence and better security.
We wish you complete success in this solemn endeavor.
With fraternal greetings and prayers, Catholicos Aram I Holy See of Cilicia September 4–1997