At a dinner banquet held under the auspices of His Holiness Aram I–Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia–in honor of a governmental delegation from Karabakh–the Catholicos announced a $100,000 donation from the Holy See of Cilicia to the cathedral scheduled to be built in Stepanakert.
Among those present at the banquet were representatives of all Armenian public–political–cultural–athletic and humanitarian organizations operating in Lebanon. The Catholicos introduced members of the Karabakh delegation Prime Minister Leonard Petrossian; Archbishop Barkev Mardirossian–Prelate of Artsakh; and Shoushi Mayor Sergei Mirzoyan–and conveyed the purpose of their visit. The Pontiff stressed that the Diaspora in general–and the Lebanese Armenian community–in particular–will always offer unsparing support to Karabakh and Armenia.
Addressing the banquet guests–Prime Minister Petrossian and Archbishop Barkev Mardirossian emphasized the significance of Armenian unity and the strengthening of relations between Karabakh and the Lebanese Armenian community.
The delegation arrived in Beirut–Lebanon–Saturday–and was greeted at the airport by Minister Shahe Barsoumian; member of the Armenian caucus of the Lebanese Parliament Sebouh Hovnanian; Representatives George Kasarjii and Yeghig Kesserdjian; representatives of the ARF Lebanon Central Committee Dikran Jinbashian and governmental relations director Hagop Pakradouni; representative of Catholicos Aram I–Archbishop Vartan Demirjian; Prelate of Lebanon–Reverend Kegham Khacherian; and Prelacy Executive Council member Yervant Pamboukian.
Earlier in the day–following a short rest at the airport’s executive lounge–the delegation headed toward the Catholicosate in Antelias–where they were received by His Holiness Aram I–Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia. In the afternoon–the Karabakh delegation met with Armenian Catholic Church leaders. They were received by Patriarch Hovhannes Bedros–XVIII–Kasbarian–and Bishop Manuel Batakian–Bishop Vartan Ashkarian–Representative Jacques Choukhadarian–and other religious.
On Saturday evening–the delegation also attended a Hamazkayin Knar dance ensemble performance held at Sajess Hall.
On Sunday evening–Prime Minister Petrossian and Mayor Mirzoyan visited the Sardarabad Armenian Center and met with the ARF Lebanon Central Committee. Present at the meeting were ARF Bureau Chairman Beno Tontian–Bureau member Mkrtich Mkrtichian–as well as Minister Shahe Barsoumian and member of the Armenian caucus of the Lebanese Parliament Sebouh Hovnanian.
Prime Minister Bedrossian presented issues of conflict in the Karabakh resolution process. He also spoke of the Karabakh economy. A dialogue regarding Diaspora-Armenia relations ensued.
On Monday evening–the Armenian National Committee of Lebanon hosted a public forum featuring the Karabakh delegation at the H. Der Melkonian Theater