Catholicosate of Cilicia
Communication and Information Department
Contact: V.Rev.Fr.Krikor Chiftjian, Communications Officer
Tel: (04) 410001, 410003
Fax: (04) 419724
E-mail: [email protected]

PO Box 70 317

Armenian version:


His Holiness Aram I received a delegation headed by the Head of the Higher
Islamic Shiite Council (HISC) Sheikh Abdel Amir Kabalan in Antelias on June

Primate of the Diocese of Lebanon, Bishop Kegham Khatcherian, member of the
National Council, Tsolag Tutelian, chairman of the Armenian Political
Council in Lebanon, Hagop Shamelian, representative of the Armenian
community in the Christian-Muslim Dialogue committee, Dr. Jean Salmanian and
chancellor of the Catholicosate of Cilicia, Khatchig Dedeyan.

The two spiritual leaders met for over an hour during which discussions
focused on the Middle East in general and the internal situation in Lebanon
in particular. Sheikh Kabalan talked with great respect about the Armenian
community of Lebanon as an organized and exemplary community. He emphasized
the important role of community leaders in strengthening the internal unity
of Lebanon, keeping the people above internal sensitivities and personal
interests and pursuing the collective and chief interests of Lebanon.

His Holiness Aram I recalled his first encounter with Imam Moussa Sader in
1970 when he was still a young priest attending a Christian-Muslim
international conference. His Holiness also recalled his warm cooperation
with Sheikh Shamseddine, reminding his guest of the existence of a strong
and an organized Armenian community in Iran.

Speaking about Lebanon, His Holiness said: "The unity of Lebanon, its
sovereignty, integrity and the coexistence of its communities have become
unchangeable principles and chief values for the Armenians of Lebanon. The
approach and commitment of the Armenians of Lebanon stays the same: it is
with this realization that we, as a community, have first fulfilled our
obligations and then demanded our rights. More than ever, today I consider
the strengthening of the internal unity of Lebanon to be an imperative

At the end of the meeting Sheikh Kabalan invited the Catholicos to
participate in the Chrisitian-Muslim inter-communal meeting to be held in
the center of Shiites in Hazmiyeh on July 20. The two spiritual leaders then
answered the questions of reporters. The pontiff and Sheikh Kabalan
condemned the recent attacks of Israel against Palestinians during their
press conference.

View photos here: tm
The Armenian Catholicosate of Cilicia is one of the two Catholicosates of
the Armenian Orthodox Church. For detailed information about the Ecumenical
activities of the Cilician Catholicosate, you may refer to the web page of
the Catholicosate, The Cilician Catholicosate, the
administrative center of the church is located in Antelias, Lebanon.