09/21/2007, 00.00
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Burns assures Patriarch of US support for school of theology

The US vice minister expresses certainty that “there will be progress” from negotiations with Ankara, at the end of a meeting with Bartholomew I. Appreciation is also expressed for the Patriarchates contribution to peaceful coexistence and environmental protection.

Istanbul (AsiaNews) – Support for the re-opening of the Halki School of theology and appreciation expressed for the Patriarchates commitment to peaceful coexistence and environmental protection. These were the comments expressed by the deputy secretary of state Nicolas Burns following his meeting with Patriarch Bartholomew.  Burns was visiting Ankara in an attempt to strengthen US – Turkey relations under strain in the aftermath of Turkey’s refusal to concede military bases for the Iraq operations in 2003.


Following his encounter with the Patriarch, Burns declared: “we expressed our respect and consideration for the ecumenical Patriarchate, an institution which exists for over 17 centuries and which plays an important role in the world in the light of it’s’ initiatives, contributing to peaceful coexistence among peoples.  As well as the important issue of environmental protection”.


Burns added that they had ample and far reaching discussions on many themes and that he expressed the United States support for the re-opening of the Halki theological school, which the Turkish government impedes.  “We hope – he added – that the Ankara government will begin discussions, without preconditions, with the Ecumenical Patriarchate.  We are certain that there will be progress”. (NT)


Photo Nikos Manginas


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