National News Agency
Nov 27 2012

NNA - Both the Speaker of the House, Nabih Berri, and Armenian
President, Serzh Sargsyan--currently on a three-day state visit in
Lebanon--underlined Tuesday the necessity to bolster the bilateral
ties between the two fraternal countries, Lebanon and Armenia.

The current general situation in the Arab and Mideast region also
featured high in the pair's two-pronged meeting held this noon at
Ain-el-Tineh, with both the Lebanese and Armenian Foreign Ministers

"Today, we receive a symbol representing a fraternal state and a
fraternal people, with whom we have the best humanitarian, moral,
and historic ties, based upon joint struggle against occupation and
colonization before enjoying the much-sought independence," Berri said,
welcoming the visiting Armenian President during a lunch banquet he
hosted at his residence this afternoon.

"Lebanon has always been a second nation for the Armenians, who
have shown unmatched love and loyalty to this country. Armenia has
always sided with Lebanon's resistance in facing Israel's hostility;
it has also supported Lebanon in resuming the liberation of its lands
occupied by Israel, and implementing the international resolutions,
on top of which resolutions 425 and 1701," he noted.

"The ambitions of our two peoples to build the best of relations were
epitomized by both the Lebanese and Armenian parliaments, trough
exchanging meetings and visits, and inking bilateral agreements to
develop parliamentary cooperation, in addition to the continuous
coordination on the level of stances before the international and
Asian parliamentary instances, in favor of our peoples' interest as
well as of our position upholding justice and peace," he said.

Furthermore, Berri maintained that the entire region--which he depicted
as "the museum of civilizations and the haven of the monotheistic
religions"--was jeopardized by schism and division in what he termed
as "micro geographical" way. He said that the situation was bogged
down with a drastic reality of ethnical, sectarian, and confessional

"Your Excellency is called to take the initiatives which aim at
pushing forward towards open dialogues in the region, to bring forth
political agreements between belligerent parties over reproducing
the state and its institutions," Berri addressed Sargsyan.

"The experience of the Lebanese civil war has proved that no one
can neither be eliminated nor marginalized, and that dialogue and
understanding are the solution," he said.

Accordingly, Berri upped calls to abide by the Taif Agreement and
partake in the all-party national dialogue which shall have in
crosshairs arms as a means to defend the nation only.

For his part, Sargsyan heaped praise on the Armenian-Lebanese ties
and friendship, stressing that Armenia and Lebanon are linked by well
entrenched and deep-rooted cultural and historic relations.

Turning to Syria, the Armenian President did not fail to voice concerns
over the destiny of the Syrian people. "Continuous armed rows and
terrorist operations are absolutely inadmissible," he underscored.

"I am sure that the emerging situation is the result of some regional
countries' escaping from resolving their own matters at the expense
of the Syrian blood," he noted.

"Armenia has always called for stopping bloodshed and urged the
Syrians to work to solve the crisis in a peaceful way," he said.

Today's lunch banquet was attended by Prime Minister Najib Mikati,
Head of the Change and Reform bloc MP Michel Aoun, Lebanese Army
Commander General Jean Qahwaji, Internal Security Forces Chief Major
General Ashraf Rifi, Papal Ambassador to Lebanon Gabriele Caccia,
heads and representatives of the Armenian parties in Lebanon, and a
panel of Deputies, Ministers, and judicial figures.

Earlier today, Sargasyan visited Armenian Patriarch Aram I at the
Armenian Catholicosate of Cilicia in Antelias and held a meeting with
students at Haigazian University in Beirut.