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Artak Zeynalyan participates in US Ministerial Meeting to Advance Religious Freedom

30/07/2018

From 25-27 July, Minister of Justice of the Republic of Armenia Artak Zeynalyan took part in the First U.S. Ministerial Meeting to Advance Religious Freedom during his visit to the U.S. capital of Washington D.C. High-ranking officials of nearly 70 countries and representatives of civil society were present at the Meeting organised by U.S. Secretary Mike Pompeo.

Minister of Justice of the Republic of Armenia Artak Zeynalyan also delivered a speech at the plenary session held on 27 July. The Minister particularly touched upon the vision of the new Government of the Republic of Armenia, that is, to make amendments and supplements to the Law of the Republic of Armenia “On freedom of conscience and religious organisations”, as well as expressed his concern with regard to the issues on destruction of Armenian cultural and spiritual heritage in Azerbaijan and violation of the rights of Christians in the Middle East.

Minister Zeynalyan also touched upon the velvet, non-violent revolution that took place in Armenia in April-May of this year and noted that tolerance is the major value in the new Armenia established as a result of the revolution. According to the Minister, even though the Republic of Armenia has been an independent state for only 27 years, it should be said that there is no radical attitude towards different religious directions in the Republic of Armenia, and evidence of this is the reports of the Human Rights Defender of Armenia, different international human rights organisations and particularly the report of the U.S. Department of State on Armenia. At the end of the speech, Minister Zeynalyan assured that the new Government of Armenia would do its best to guarantee, ensure and protect the rights and freedoms of every person living in Armenia.

A number of other major problems were addressed and joint statements were made at the Ministerial Meeting to Advance Religious Freedom convened in Washington D.C.

Within the scope of the U.S. visit, the Minister of Justice also met with representatives of the U.S. Department of State, Department of Justice, Department of Democracy and Human Rights and the U.S. Agency for International Development and discussed a number of issues aimed at deepening co-operation in the sphere of religion.

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