On Monday, the 5th/18th of October 2010, the Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs His Excellency Mr. Demetrios Droutsas visited His Beatitude Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos III at the Patriarchate. On this visit, the Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs was accompanied by the General Secretary of his office, Mr. Ioannis-Alexios Zepos, and other officials namely the Greek Ambassador to the State of Israel His Excellency Mr. Kyriakos Loukakis, and the Consul of Greece to Jerusalem His Excellency Mr. Sotiris Athanasiou.

His Beatitude Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos III congratulated the Minister on his official appointment.  “We recognise”, He said, “the difficult mission you have undertaken. We thank the Greek Government for showing its concern for the Patriarchate which is demonstrated by your visit. Furthermore we enjoy very good cooperation with the diplomatic representatives of Greece to Israel. The Patriarchate plays a significant conciliatory role in the ongoing religious and political issues of the Holy Land”.

The Minister conveyed the greetings of the Prime Minister, His Excellency Mr. George Papandreou and praised the work of the Patriarchate and His Beatitude personally. “I saw”, he said, “the Patriarchate’s work in Jordan and I heard plenty of commendatory words from the King of Jordan about Your work as President of all the Heads of the Holy Land’s Churches”.

His Beatitude Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos III decorated the Minister with the Order of the Grand Commander of the Holy Sepulchre as a sign of recognition of his service to Greece and the Patriarchate.

Moreover, His Beatitude offered His Excellency the Foreign Affairs Minister of the Hellenic Republic a publication by Professor Votokopoulos on the illustrated manuscripts of the Patriarchate’s Library and Professor Demitrakopoulos’ book entitled ‘The Site of The Baptism of Our Lord on the River Jordan’.

The Minister proceeded to visit the Church of Resurrection to venerate the Holy Sepulchre and the Holy Shrines therein.

Chief-Secretary’s Office.