AGBU President Visits New President, Prime Minister & Meets with Catholicos of All Armenians

The following items were published last week in Armenian-language newspapers in Armenia. All translations courtesy of AGBU Yerevan office.

Republic of Armenia President Received [sic] Hayastani Hanrapetutiun [April 29, 2008]

Yesterday, Republic of Armenia (RA) President Serge Sarkissian received Berge Setrakian, President of the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU).

He once again congratulated Serge Sarkissian on his recent election to the highest post of the Republic of Armenia.

The AGBU President expressed confidence that the newly elected president will succeed in making Armenia the land of dreams for Armenians worldwide. Emphasizing the organization’s eagerness to bring its contribution to this process, Setrakian mentioned that AGBU will support and back the president in his patriotic activities.

RA President Serge Sarkissian and AGBU President Berge Setrakian also spoke about Armenia-Diaspora relations, underscoring the importance of building these relations based on mutual understanding and cooperation. They both prioritized the issue of preservation of national identity. As Mr. Setrakian mentioned, the AGBU has initiated a number of projects, whose main goal is to strengthen ties between the diaspora’s new generation and their homeland.

Noting that Armenia is not rich in natural resources, Serge Sarkissian said that our main resource should be our human potential, which we must unite and use for the sake of being a competitive country.

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AGBU President Berge Setrakian Meets with RA Prime Minister Tigran Sarkissian Hayastani Hanrapetutiun [April 30, 2008]

Republic of Armenia (RA) Prime Minister Tigran Sarkissian received the President of the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) Berge Setrakian yesterday.

Congratulating Tigran Sarkissian in his new position, Setrakian said that he was impressed by their last meeting when Sarkissian was still the president of the Central Bank of the Republic of Armenia, and wished the current government under his chair success in its mission.

Berge Setrakian mentioned that AGBU has spread its activities in many countries of the world for the sake of our diasporan compatriots and our homeland. This visit is also aimed at supporting our country, our people, different programs carried out in different spheres, and also sowing love among the new generation of diasporan Armenians towards their homeland. Setrakian briefly presented to the prime minister the new and ongoing projects of the AGBU.

PM Sarkissian also expressed his enthusiasm about the previous meeting with the AGBU President and the programs discussed during that meeting. He said that the RA government’s program, which will be presented in the parliament today, is also based on those attitudes and programs, which include creation of an economy based on knowledge, and systems that give opportunity to all Armenians, no matter where they live, to take part in pan-national projects. The prime minister assured that the RA is ready to support the AGBU projects in every possible way and harness the potential of the diaspora, which is viewed as one of our competitive privileges. We have no right to fall behind our neighbors of the region, the prime minister said. Tigran Sarkissian once again emphasized the importance of realization of pan-Armenian programs, adding also that doing business in Armenia should become easy, so that all Armenians can proudly say that doing business in Armenia is easier than in their country of residence.

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AGBU President Berge Sertrakian Received by His Holiness Karekin II Hayastani Hanrapetutiun [April 30, 2008]

On April 29, His Holiness Karekin II received the President of the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) Berge Setrakian in the Holy See of Etchmiadzin.

As the Holy See Press Service reported, in welcoming the AGBU President to the Holy See, His Holiness expressed appreciation for all the national and benevolent projects that AGBU carries out in Armenia and the Diaspora. His Holiness also expressed satisfaction about the strong cooperation between the AGBU and the Armenian Apostolic Church.

In turn, the AGBU President, highly assessing the cooperation of the Church and the AGBU, assured [His Holiness] that AGBU will continue supporting the Holy See of Etchmiadzin in effectively realizing its mission.

During the meeting they also spoke about other national issues, in particular, the Christian upbringing of the new generation and other educational issues.

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