Beirut Blast: Armenia’s Diaspora Commissioner Sums Up Second Day of Working Visit to Lebanon
The following was released today by Armenia’s Office of the High Commissioner for Diaspora Affairs
Lebanon - On August 10, High Commissioner Zareh Sinanyan, along with the Republic of Armenia Ambassador to Lebanon Vahagn Atabekyan visited the Armenian Prelacy of Lebanon and met with the Primate of the Armenian Diocese of Lebanon Archbishop Shahé Panossian.
After expressing his gratitude for the welcome, the High Commissioner talked about the humanitarian aid provided by Armenia to the Lebanese government and the Armenian community. He also noted that in addition to providing aid, one of the main reasons for the visit is to get acquainted with the conditions of the Lebanese-Armenian community after the explosion.
The Primate of the Diocese, having described the condition of the community, emphasized that Lebanese-Armenians have seen many difficulties and will be able to overcome this as well.
Sinanyan highlighted the fundraiser organized by the Hayastan All Armenia Fund specifically for the Lebanese-Armenian community. The parties discussed possible areas of assistance, in particular the reconstruction of educational institutions.
Members of the Armenian delegation were present at the meeting.
Later that day, High Commissioner Sinanyan visited the Chaghzoian Center in Beirut and met with ARF representatives. Ambassador Atabekyan and members of the Armenian delegation attended the meeting.
High Commissioner Sinanyan presented the reason for his visit and underlined the importance of being in direct contact with Lebanese-Armenians and community organizations and identifying problems through face-to-face meetings.
Lebanese MP Hagop Pakradouni thanked the Armenian government for quickly responding to the explosion and standing by the community physically and emotionally.
High Commissioner Sinanyan also visited the office of the Lebanese branch of the Social Democrat Hunchakian Party and met with the chairman Sebouh Kalpakian, who noted how important it is that the government of Armenia and Prime Minister Pashinyan are in constant contact with the community, especially given the current situation. After which the chairman discussed the SDHP’s activities in Lebanon and in Armenia.
The High Commissioner reinstated the readiness of the Armenian government to stand by the Lebanese-Armenian community. He also stated that one or two community institutions will be rebuilt by Armenia’s efforts.
Furthermore, Sinanyan presented the steps taken by the government for repatriation, specifically the Law on Repatriation, and the ongoing work to establish a repatriation and integration center.
Afterward, the members of the delegation took a tour of St. Kevork Church and the adjacent medical center where they spoke with representatives of the Armenian community who were affected by the explosion.
Later that day, the High Commissioner paid a visit to the Tekeyan Cultural Center in Lebanon.
He also visited the AGBU office and met with members of the organization headed by Gerard Tufenkjian. High Commissioner Sinanyan was introduced to the activities of the Lebanese branch of the organization, and the work being carried out after the explosion.
The AGBU office has assessed the needs of 400 Lebanese-Armenian families, on the basis of which assistance will be provided.
Zareh Sinanyan noted that the Office of the High Commissioner is working effectively with the AGBU and expressed readiness to strengthen cooperation. Issues affecting the Lebanese-Armenian community were discussed during the meeting.