President Prokopis Pavlopoulos accompanied by Deputy Foreign Minister Terens Quick visited on Monday the Ecumenical Patriarchate and met with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. It was the first visit of a Greek President to the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
“The Patriarchate is one of the great beacons of Christianity,” stated Pavlopoulos adding that “We are inspired by your struggle”.
“I want to note”, he said “that the presence of the Patriarchate here is one of the strongest bonds that Turkey can have with the West and with Europe and for this reason I believe that, in time, Turkey will offer the opportunity to the Patriarchate to develop all its spiritual activity especially on the education” said Pavlopoulos and explained “I mostly refer to Chalki Treaty”.
On his part, Bartholomew welcomed Pavlopoulos and said “Our city, our unique city has today the honour to welcome the head of the Greek state. We thank you for your love and interest in the issues of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and of the small community of Greeks of Constantinople.
The Patriarch accompanied Pavlopoulos to his pilgrimage visit to the Patriarchal Church of St. George.
Afterwards, the head of the Greek state delivered a speech at the 25th Anniversary Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the BSEC Member States that is held in Istanbul.
Later Pavlopoulos will meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.