Foreign visits
Working visit of President Serzh Sargsyan to Yalta

28.07.2008 - 29.07.2008

On July 29 President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan and Catholicos of All Armenians, His Holiness Garegin II participated at the ceremony dedicated to the 650th Anniversary of the foundation of the ancient Armenian Holy Cross cloister.

Supreme Patriarch performed the ceremony of consecration of the church.

The church of Holy Cross is an outstanding monument of the Medieval Armenian architecture and the spiritual center of the Armenians residing in Crimea. Through the ages it’s also been the Episcopal residence.



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Speech of President Serzh Sargsyan at the ceremony dedicated to the 650th Anniversary of Holy Cross cloister in Crimea

I am happy to be here with you at the ceremony dedicated to the 650th Anniversary of the foundation of the ancient Armenian Holy Cross cloister. This momentous event brought us all together. The Crimean Peninsula has always been a habitat for different peoples of different faith.

It is symbolic that this Anniversary and consecration of the church coincide with another solemn and meaningful event – the 1020th Anniversary of the christening of Russia.

The Armenian Apostolic Church has always had its special place in the lives of the Armenian people. During the centuries, in the absence of statehood it was the Church that assumed the mission of leading the Armenian people. It is no coincidence that wherever in the world Armenians go they always build churches and schools. They build and create, struggle and survive.

As a result, unlike other ancient people, the Armenians continue to live and create, presenting to the world the kaleidoscope of its cultural heritage – works of art, many of which have become the symbols of friendship and cooperation.

The Holy Cross cloister is the spiritual center of the Armenians of Crimea, one of the most prominent historical monuments. Today when we witness numerous instances of intolerance, interfaith and intercultural struggle and antagonism, we also see how our two nations not by word but by deed, sincerely and confidently revisit the pages of our common history when we not only existed in the same geographical space but also lived and worked together.

The Holy Cross cloister is not only an indivisible part of our spiritual culture: it is also one of the gems of Crimea. Any architectural monument is in harmony only within the context and the landscape it was created in. I am confident that the renovated Holy Cross can become one of the tourist attractions of Crimea. Today I offered President Yushchenko to instruct our Ministries of Foreign Affairs to take necessary steps for the inclusion of the Holy Cross on the UNESCO’s list of the world cultural heritage.

We already have successful examples of such cooperation. Quite recently, three Armenian monuments located in Iran were included on that list.

We are grateful to the authorities of Ukraine for their great work in reconstructing the cloister, to the authorities of Crimea, all architects and construction workers who participated in this project.

I would also like to congratulate our compatriots living in Ukraine, especially those in Crimea, and thank them for their active participation in the reconstruction of the church.

I am certain that today’s event will add a new page to the glorious annals of the centuries-long friendly relations of our peoples, will foster further development of the Armenian-Ukrainian relations not only in the humanitarian but also in political, economic and other areas.

I wish long life to the renovated Holy Cross cloister so that for the next 650 years it continues to stand not only as a temple of hope and faith but also as a symbol of interfaith appreciation, understanding, and friendship.

I congratulate all of us on this outstanding occasion and would like to once again express my sincere gratitude to all those who participated in this project and helped to preserve, renovate this church; I also thank them for their warmth and hospitality.



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President Serzh Sargsyan and Catholicos of All Armenians, His Holiness Garegin II visited also Saint Hripsime church in Yalta where they meet with the hundreds of Armenians who arrived here from all corners of Crimea.

The President of Armenia said that this visit to Saint Hripsime church and the meeting with the representatives of Diaspora were most gratifying. “We came here to share with you our delight, we came here to tell you that you have Motherland, we came to tell you that we will assist and support you on every occasion,” the President of Armenia said and added “The Republic of Armenia has certain responsibilities with regard to Diaspora. Armenia also needs you, and we want you to look toward Armenia. I want to assure you that all of you have your place in Armenia and that there is something to do for each of you. Armenia is you home.”

The President of Armenia and Catholicos observed the church and construction works and visited the tomb of the renowned artist Vardges Soureniants.



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In the framework of the visit to the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, on July 29 President Serzh Sargsyan met with the President of Ukraine, Victor Yushchenko.

The meeting of the two Presidents took place in a warm and friendly atmosphere.

The President of Ukraine reiterated his invitation to the President of Armenia to conduct an official visit Ukraine in the end of year 2008. The sides stressed the importance of the session of the Armenian-Ukrainian intergovernmental commission to be held before the visit. In addition, the agreement was reached to sign a number of documents to foster the bilateral relations in different areas. President Yushchenko offered President Sargsyan in the framework of his visit to stopover in one of regions of Ukraine.

The two Presidents stressed the importance of a further invigoration of the economic ties between the two states. It was mentioned that with this regard an Armenian-Ukrainian business forum could serve a good impetus. Serzh Sargsyan and Victor Yushchenko underscored also the importance of increasing the turnover between the two countries and promote cooperation among different regions of Armenia and Ukraine.

At the meeting the parties spoke also about the issues pertaining to a fuller realization of the existing potential in the humanitarian, cultural, scientific, and educational areas. President Yushchenko underlined the special input of the Armenian-Ukrainian community in fostering and strengthening relations between our countries. He expressed readiness to jointly discussed issues of concern for the Armenian community.

The Presidents of the two states discussed also regional and international issues.

President Serzh Sargsyan expressed gratitude to his Ukrainian counterpart for the assistance provided by the Government of Ukraine in the restoration of the Armenian Holy Cross cloister.

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