Vatican City, Sep 28, 2020 / 09:00 am
Pope Francis met with Armenian Apostolic Church leader Karekin II Sunday morning, moving up an appointment scheduled for Monday, because of growing clashes with Azerbaijan over the Nagorno-Karabakh territory.
Nagorno-Karabakh is an area internationally recognized as belonging to Azerbaijan but controlled by ethnic Armenians. Conflict over the enclave, which erupted into war from 1988 to 1994, has grown in recent months, with Turkey declaring support for Azerbaijan and other states calling for a diplomatic resolution.
With new fighting at the border during the night of Sept. 26-27, Karekin II, known as the Catholicos of All Armenians, asked to move up his meeting with Pope Francis. The two met a day early, on the morning of Sept. 27, before the pope's weekly Angelus address.
The focus of the approximately 40-minute meeting was the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, according to ACI Stampa, CNA's partner agency, which spoke to Catholicos Karekin II before he left Rome Sept. 27.