GREEK FOREIGN MINISTER VISITS THE PATRIARCHATE
On the afternoon of Sunday, the 22nd of June/5th of July 2015, the Greek Foreign Minister, Mr Nikolaos Kotzias, visited the Patriarchate. He was accompanied by associates of his:
Ambassador Demetrios Paraskevopoulos, Secretary-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Ambassador Tasia Athanasiou, Director of the Diplomatic Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Konstantinos Koutras, Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Georgios Mitrakos, Special Advisor to the Foreign Minister.
Apostolos Theodorides, Security Officer of the Minister.
In attendance at the meeting were the diplomatic representatives of Greece in Israel, Ambassador Spyridon Lamprides in Tel Aviv, and Alexandros Gennimatas, First Secretary, the Greek Consul-General to Jerusalem, Georgios Zacharoudiakis, and Vasileios Koinis, Deputy Consul.
His Excellency the Minister and his associates were warmly welcomed by Patriarch Theophilos of Jerusalem. The Patriarch extended His wishes for success in their two-day visit to Israel and in exiting the economic crisis plaguing Greece, by the help of God and the Grace and Blessing of the Life-giving Sepulchre. Patriarch Theophilos went on to express His joy over the Minister’s visit at a critical time for the future of Greece and under the current political situation in the Middle East. Last, His Beatitude extended thanks over the help offered by the Hellenic Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the Patriarchate in the past but also during recent problems pertaining to the Aedicula of the Holy Sepulchre , the Monastery of the Holy Trinity and the Patriarchal School on Mount Zion, before bestowing on the Minister the Medal of Supreme Taxiarch of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre.
In his response, the Minister thanked His Beatitude and pledged to carry on promoting the interests of our nation in Greece, abroad and in the Holy Land, a spiritual heritage of Ecumenical Orthodoxy and Ecumenical Hellenism.
From the Patriarchate, Minister Kotzias continued his pilgrimage at Calvary and the Holy Sepulchre, within the Church of the Resurrection.
From the Secretariat-General