NEW YORK — During the week of June 10th, the president of AGBU Berge Setrakian, accompanied by the president of AGBU-Armenia Vasken Yacoubian and AGBU board member Yervant Zorian, attended a series of meetings and working sessions with the president of Armenia Armen Sarkissian, the prime minister Nikol Pashinyan, the speaker of the National Assembly Ara Babloyan, and the ministers of Foreign Affairs, Defense, Diaspora, Education and Science, as well as the chairman of the Central Bank. In a separate visit to Etchmiadzin, Mr. Setrakian met with His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians.
According to Mr. Setrakian, “Engaging with so many high level officials in all spheres of national affairs was an ideal opportunity for us to gain deeper insight on the new leadership’s agenda for the country and to identify areas of mutual interest. It also allowed us to share the perspectives of AGBU based on its longstanding, on-the-ground involvement with Armenia’s citizens from all walks of life, through diverse programs and projects.” He further remarked that the discussions were “a very productive interaction that can inspire new initiatives of relevance to our respective responsibilities and expand the scope of our cooperation in such vital areas as education, socio-economic development, and culture.” He also emphasized that such discussions reinforce and enhance Armenia-Diaspora relations, which is what gives Armenia “the unique status of being a sovereign republic with the strength of a global nation.”
In turn, members of the government expressed their appreciation for AGBU’s dedication to uplifting the people of Armenia and fulfilling its mission to help lay the foundations for the prosperity and well-being of the nation.
During his visit with the Catholicos, Mr. Setrakian expressed AGBU’s support for the Church’s efforts to “uphold the values of our nation and the country”, saying that in this regard, AGBU would “continue its support of existing joint programs while undertaking new initiatives in partnership with the Church.” Mr. Setrakian also stressed the importance of keeping the public informed of the numerous social, educational and humanitarian activities carried out by the Church, reiterating his position that both government and the Church have special roles to play in moving all Armenians closer to the national ideals and timeless values that distinguish us among nations.