Deputy Prime Minister of Armenia Hambardzum Matevosyan received Monday Archbishop Jose Avelino Bettencourt, the papal nuncio to Armenia, the government of Armenia reports.
The deputy PM reaffirmed Armenia's interest and commitment to further deepen interstate relations with the Holy See.
Appreciating the decision of the Holy See to open an Apostolic Nuncio office in Yerevan in 2021, Matevosyan stressed that this proves the importance of the Armenia-Holy See interstate relations and the developments taking place in the region.
Archbishop Bettencourt, in turn, congratulated on the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Armenia and the Holy See, and stressed that this 30-year partnership is based on 2000 years of friendly relations.
During the conversation, the Armenian deputy premier lauded the messages issued by Pope Francis during the 44-day war against Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) in the fall of 2020 and afterwards, the calls for humanitarian aid for the immediate release of prisoners of war (POWs), and asked that the Pope continue mentioning in his prayers and messages the matter of Armenian POWs and civilian detainees in Azerbaijan being returned to their homeland as soon as possible.
During the meeting, they touched also upon the possibility and importance of the Holy See's involvement in the protection, preservation, and restoration of Armenian religious, historical, and cultural monuments in the regions that are now under the control of Azerbaijan as a result of the 44-day war.