President of Armenia asks for Vatican aid in returning prisoners of war
This is how Pope Francis received the President of Armenia, Armen Sarkissian, at the Vatican.
-Thank you very much.
On Twitter, the president said that he thanked the Pope for the Holy See's solidarity with Armenia during the conflict in Nagorno Karabak, and that he asked for the Vatican's support in requesting that Azerbaijan release their prisoners of war.
In the midst of the conflict, Pope Francis said that Armenia and Azerbaijan "will not resolve the dispute with violence."
During his Easter blessing the Pope also called for the safe return of prisoners of war.
It is is a sensitive issue. According to Armenia, Azerbaijan has about 60 POWs in custody. Yet Azerbaijan claims it has released all Armenian citizens and is currently interrogating possible terrorists.
President Sarkissian presented Francis with a portrait of St. Gregory of Narek as well as a carpet with historical significance.
-It is a very special carpet, it is a copy of an ancient one, from 180 years ago.
The Pope then he gave him this bas-relief. And he explained its meaning. (01:44)
-It says, "The desert will become a garden." And this is my wish for you and for Armenia.
The meeting lasted about 40 minutes. It was very friendly and ended with this greeting.
-I will pray for you too. And not only me, but my wife and my three little grandchildren as well.
Armen Sarkissian was previously Armenia's first ambassador to the Holy See in the 1990s. A role he fondly recalled during his visit.