New York–His Holiness Karekin II–Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenia’s–visited the United Nations headquarters in New York on the morning of Friday–May 25–and met with Secretary-General Kofi Anan–in a warm and friendly encounter lasting some twenty minutes.
"We are performing the same work," remarked the Secretary-General to the Armenian pontiff. "You with prayer–and we with diplomacy."
Catholicos Karekin thanked Anan for his cordial relationship with the Armenian Mission to the United Nations and for his enduring interest in the Karabakh question. He also expressed gratitude to the UN’s world body–for helping Armenia in its effort to establish a vigorous democracy. The Armenian pontiff expressed joy that two talented and energetic Armenia’s were deeply involved in the world body: UN Undersecretary-General Benon Sevan and Ambassador Movses Abelian–Armenia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations. Both were present during the meeting.
The Catholicos also related that he had met with the top Moslem leader in Azerbaijan–and that both religious leaders have tried to create an atmosphere for peace in the minds of their respective peoples.
Before leaving–the Catholicos blessed the Secretary-General.
Later that afternoon–Catholicos Karekin II and his entourage visited the Armenian Mission to the United Nations–where they were welcomed by Ambassador Movses Abelian and his staff.
The Armenian pontiff declared his strong pride in seeing the Armenian flag flying at the United Nations "now and in the future. What once was a dream–is now a reality. The nation and the church are with you because we have the same hopes and dreams," he stated with emphasis–and wished the staff at the Mission strength in carrying out their important duties. "We must stand shoulder to shoulder."
Catholicos Karekin then presented to the mission his gift of a marble relief of Holy Etchmiadzin–and expressed his wish that the "spirit of Etchmiadzin may be with you always." On his visit to the United Nations in August 2000–to address the summit of world religious leaders–he had presented the mission with a unique marble cross.
As the entourage departed–Ambassador Abelian commented that Karekin II had visited the Armenian Mission "to show his support for the government. Throughout history–in times when we lost our statehood–the church was always there. Today–the nation and the church are working together for the same goals," he said proudly.