BEIRUT—Acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on Saturday kicked off a two-day official visit to Lebanon, where he held meetings with country’s leadership, met with Armenian community leaders and members and attended a ceremony marking the 50th anniversary of the ordination of His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia.
After arriving in Beirut, Pashinyan and his delegation met with Lebanese President Michel Aoun, who was in Armenia last week to attend the Francophone Summit in Yerevan.
The two leaders discussed strengthening Armenia-Lebanon relations and advancing economic cooperation and promoting trade between the two countries.
“We have to synchronize our economic relations with high-level political dialogue,” said Pashinyan who also briefed Aoun about his government’s efforts to combat corruption and reform Armenia’s tax and customs laws to create a more beneficial investment climate in Armenia.
“Lebanon is the only country in the region to have officially recognized the Armenian Genocide. It is crucial in terms of both preserving historical memory and preventing new genocides,” said Pashinyan. In his turn Aoun praised the critical role the Lebanese Armenian community peasy in the country’s political, economic, social, cultural, educational and sporting life, as well as the development of friendship between the two countries and peoples.
Pashinyan also met with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri and continued the conversation that started with Aoun about strengthening Lebanon-Armenia relations.
“This is my first visit to fraternal Lebanon, a country with rich history of ancient civilizations. I am convinced that the visit will help us promote the agenda of bilateral cooperation. Of course, your father, Rafik Hariri, who was a great friend of Armenia, made an invaluable contribution to the deepening and strengthening of ties between our countries,” said Pashinyan.
The acting primer minister also met with the speaker of Lebanon’s Parliament Nabih Berri.