President of Artsakh Pays Annual Visit to the Prelacy on the Eve of Thanksgiving

Each year on Thanksgiving week, His Excellency Bako Sahakyan, President of Artsakh, arrives in Los Angeles to participate in the Armenia Fund Telethon held on Thanksgiving Day. On this occasion, the President pays his annual visit to the Prelacy to meet with H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, Clergy, Executive Council, and Ladies Auxiliary members. President Sahakyan was accompanied by a delegation comprised by Deputy Prime Minister of Artsakh Lt. Gen. Artur Aghabekyan, Minister of Health Harutyun Kushkyan, Ambassador of Armenia to the U.S. Tigran Sargsyan, Permanent Representative of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic to the United States Robert Avetisyan, Defense, Military, Naval, Air Attaché Colonel Mesrop Nazaryan, Deputy Consul General of Armenia in Los Angeles Artak Galstyan, the President’s Press Secretary Davit Babayan, and Armenia Fund Western Region Chairman Antranik Baghdasarian.

The visit began with a prayer at the “St. Dertad and St. Ashkhen” Chapel, and continued at the “Sulahian” Reception Hall. The Prelate welcomed the President and guests, expressing thanks for the traditional visit which bridges the Prelacy family with our brethren in Artsakh. He commended President Sahakyan’s active involvement in the mission for which he has come to Los Angeles and stated that the Armenian people will always stand by Artsakh for we are moved by the struggles of our brothers and sisters in Artsakh and are wholly committed to the country’s defense and progress. His Eminence expressed condolences on the recent helicopter attack, stating that he was at Etchmiadzin at the time where they offered special prayers for the victims, and also noting that requiem prayers were offered in all Prelacy Churches that weekend.

On behalf of the Executive Council, Vice-Chair Dr. Dikran Babikian welcomed the guests and conveyed confidence that with the united efforts of the Armenian people, Artsakh can overcome its external and internal challenges.

President Sahakyan thanked the Prelate and Prelacy members for their warm welcome and expressions of solidarity. He reported on positive developments and improvements in Artsakh, as well as continued aggression by Azerbaijan, stating that people of Artsakh have made great sacrifices since the inception of the struggle for self-determination, but that the time has come to secure the safety and prosperity of the country without further losses. The President conveyed gratitude for the staunch support of the Armenian Apostolic Church and highlighted the Prelate’s role in the progress of their endeavors as well as his leadership and humility. He stressed the importance of reinforcing the country’s northern region, both economically and militarily, which he said the completion of the Vardenis-Martakert Highway will assist in. Finally, President Sahakyan commended Ambassador Sargsyan’s leadership, noting that there were many successes in Armenia and Artsakh during his tenure as Prime Minister of Armenia.

Ambassador Sarsgyan expressed thankfulness for his first visit to the Prelacy. He affirmed his commitment to the fortification of Artsakh because its strength is the strength of the Armenian people, he said, and added that the people have full confidence in President Sahakyan and his leadership.

A question and answer session followed, during which President Sahakyan and Lt. Gen. Artur Aghabekyan gave further information on future plans, the contributions of the Syrian-Armenian community, the needs of armed forces members, and housing needs of citizens.

The visit concluded with an exchange of gifts.

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