03, 2011

Working visit of President Serzh Sargsyan to Iran

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At the invitation of the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President Serzh Sargsyan arrived today on a working visit to Tehran.

In the framework of the visit, the President of Armenia met with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. First, Serzh Sargsyan congratulated the President of IRI and the people of Iran on the occasion of Novruz and on behalf of the people of Armenia and his own behalf conveyed warm wishes.

In the course of the meeting, Presidents Sargsyan and Ahmadinejad discussed issues related to the mutually beneficial bilateral cooperation and strengthening of good-neighborly relations. The Presidents highlighted, in particular, importance of cooperation in the energy, transport, culture and some other areas and the program of the construction of the Iran-Armenia railroad.

After the meeting with the President of Iran, President Serzh Sargsyan together with other leaders, who have arrived to Tehran, at the Vahdat compound participated at the celebrations of Novruz and made a congratulatory statement.


President Serzh Sargsyan’s statement at the Novruz celebrations

Distinguished President of the Islamic Republic of Iran,
Eminent participants of the celebrations:

I am happy to be here, at this beautiful and truly emblematic event of the second international celebration of Novruz.
For thousands of years, every spring Novruz – a beautiful holiday of kind traditions and rituals - is being celebrated in our region, bringing together different nations in a warm and friendly environment.

The very word Novruz has a special meaning; it means “a new day” which heralds the advent of spring and awakening of life. These days the nature rouses from sleep and everything starts all over again. This is how the Iranian people, who represent an ancient civilization, picture and appreciate the eternity of life. For many and many nations spring signifies beginning, and the advent of spring opens a new page in life. This is a beautiful holiday – it expresses harmony of human life and nature. It also plays a unique role for the enhancement of human contacts and ties and, in general, for the strengthening of peace and peaceful coexistence. Great potential of solidarity, friendship and unanimity is also manifested by this gathering at Vahdat – this marvelous hall named Unity.

This great holiday with rich traditions was not lost for the international community. Recognition of Novruz by the General Assembly of the United Nations and its inclusion on the list of non-material Human Heritage by UNESCO testify to it. Thanks to the initiative and efforts undertaken by the Iranian government headed by President Ahmadinejad a year ago, today we have an opportunity to meet, converse and wish each other all the best, celebrating all human and universal that unites us. This gathering is yet another nice manifestation of the dialogue of civilizations, intercultural cooperation and understanding.

The ritual of spring awakening is close to ours, Armenians hearts. Tyarendaraj – Candlemas Day, which is one of the oldest Armenian holidays, is traditionally celebrated on February 14. Even though it’s a winter holiday, on that day the spring is in the air, and according to the ancient beliefs of our forefathers, the holiday mitigates the cold and serves as a precursor of spring. The holiday symbolizes light, warmth, youth, love, fertility and brings blessings to the newly-weds.

Besides, Easter - the miraculous resurrection of our savior Jesus Christ - is the greatest holiday for our devoted people, who were the first in the world to adopt Christianity as a state religion in 301 AD. Similarity between this holiday and Novruz rituals are obvious. During the celebrations, Armenians adorn their table with colorful eggs which symbolize eternity and with sprouts which symbolize rebirth.

These are humble links in the great chain of similarities which were formed through the ages among the peoples of Armenia, Iran and other nations of our region. They became a strong basis for the Armenian-Iranian centuries-long friendly and good-neighborly relations, which with Armenia’s independence grew into a full-fledged interstate cooperation.

Dear Friends,

Good-neighborly relations between Armenia and Iran are truly exemplary. Our friendship, existence of a blooming Armenian community in Iran is a good example of cooperation and mutual enrichment of the Christian and Islamic civilizations. The Armenian-Iranian cooperation is a story of friendship, tolerance, mutual respect and cultural dialogue.

Taking this nice opportunity provided by the celebration of this wonderful celebration, I would like to convey congratulations on Novruz to the Spiritual Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, to all Presidents, who are present here today and to all attendees. I also convey congratulations to the friendly people of Iran and to all those who celebrate this holiday and, in general, to all those to value the true meaning of the holiday – kindness, love, rebirth, and peace.

I wish prosperity and peace to our region and to the world.

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