Armenia’s Minister of Diaspora Visits the Prelacy

On Tuesday, July 31, 2018, H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, welcomed to the Prelacy Armenia’s new Diaspora Minister Mkhitar Hayrapetyan, who is on first official visit to the United States. The Minister was joined by his assistant Mr. Vagharshak Hakobyan and Counsellor at the Consulate General of Armenia in Los Angeles Mr. Razmik Stepanyan. His Eminence was joined by Vicar General Bishop Torkom Donoyan, Religious Council Chair Very Rev. Fr. Muron Aznikian, Central Executive member Mr. Gaidzag Zetlian, ARF Central Committee member Mr. Levon Kirakosian, Executive Council Chair Mr. Garo Eshgian and members, and members of the Ladies Auxiliary.

The visit began with a prayer at the “St. Dertad and St. Ashkhen” Chapel, and continued at the “Sulahian” reception hall. Following introductions, the Prelate welcomed the Minister and guests on behalf of the Prelacy family and noting that he has been closely following the positive changes in Armenia wished for our compatriots to live a free, independent, safe, and good life in our motherland. His Eminence gave a brief overview of the Prelacy’s mission and endeavors over the past forty-five years, expressed hope that the visit will be a new beginning for stronger collaboration and strengthening of ties between Armenia, Artsakh, and the Diaspora, and wished the Minister great success in his new mission.

Remarks were delivered by Mr. Garo Eshgian, who affirmed the Prelacy’s support for the government and people of Armenia, and by Bishop Torkom Donoyan, Mr. Gaidzag Zetlian, Mr. Levon Kirakosian, and Executive Council Vice-Chair Mr. Meher Der Ohanessian, all of whom commended the Minister and the efforts of the Ministry and conveyed well wishes.

Mr. Hayrapetyan expressed gratitude for the warm welcome and sentiments. He highlighted the role of the Armenian Church in the preservation and advancement of our heritage in the Diaspora and its unique role throughout history in that regard. He stressed the importance of unity, collaboration, and productivity, commended the leadership of Diaspora institutions, such as the Prelacy, which aptly fulfill their role and mission to bridge the people with our nation and heritage.

A discussion followed, during which the Minister thoroughly and openly answered all questions and suggestions. The visit concluded with an exchange of mementos.

On the evening of Monday, July 30 a community town hall hosted by Mayor Zareh Sinanyan under the auspices of the Ministry of Diaspora and the Consulate General of Armenia in Los Angeles was held at Pacific Community Center in Glendale. In the afternoon, a luncheon hosted by Armenia Fund in honor of the Minister was held at Los Angeles Club. The Prelate attended both events. On Sunday afternoon, the ARF Central Committee hosted a reception at Holy Martyrs Church “Dikranian” Hall, which the Vicar General attended. Executive Council Chair Mr. Garo Eshgian and Vice-Chair Mr. Meher Der Ohanessian were also in attendance. 

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