SEOUL–South Korea–His Holiness Aram I–Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia met with South Korean Prime Minister Ku Ken Thursday during the second leg of his visit to Asia as the chairman of the World Council of Churches.
The two leaders discussed furthering relations between the World Council of Churches and the religious community in South Korea–as well as relations between churches in North and South Korea..
Also present at the meeting was the chairman of the Korean Council of Churches.
The Catholicos emphasized the importance of humanitarian assistance to the poverty-stricken people of North Korea and stated that decades-long South Korean laws should be put aside at such a time of dire need.
Aram I also expressed the World Council of Churches’ commitment to mediating dialogue between the two Koreas.
The prime minister commended the World Council of Churches position during the Korean conflict–as well as the council’s commitment to justice–human rights and furthering of democratic principles.
The Catholicos also utilized this opportunity to discuss and brief the Korean leader about the situation in Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh–stressing the importance of economic assistance to Armenia.
The Korean leader promised that he would further address this issue with his advisers.
Aram I also discussed the issue of the Armenian Genocide and its recognition–emphasizing the rights of the Armenian people.
The Korean leader expressed interest in the matter. The two leaders also discussed the situation in Lebanon and the assistance provided by the South Korean government.
During a breakfast meeting Thursday–the Catholicos also met South Korean culture and religion ministers and discussed issues of mutual interests with those leaders.
The Catholicos was scheduled to meet with the South Korean president–but upon the advice of the Council of Churches that meeting was canceled due to anti-presidential demonstrations in South Korea.
His Holiness Aram I began his Asian trip last Friday.