Lieutenant-general Elias Leontaris, the National Guard Commander of Cyprus visited the Patriarchate on Thursday afternoon February 2/15, 2018, escorted by his wife, the Ambassador of the Democracy of Cyprus in Israel Mrs. Thessalia Siambou and some other associates of his.
Mr. Leontaris was received by H.H.B. our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos and Hagiotaphite Fathers.
In this meeting, the Lieutenant-general explained to His Beatitude the reason of his visit is related to the cooperation with the State of Israel, nevertheless, it would not be possible to exclude from it a visit to the Holy Sepulchre and the Patriarchate
His Beatitude explained Mr. Leontaris that the Patriarchate as a Church represents the Sacred History and therefore its role is peace-making, reconciliatory and cultural in the region of the Holy Land and the Middle East.
His Beatitude also referred to the issue the Patriarchate faces regarding the extreme settler group “Ateret Kohanim”, who have illegally rented two hotels of the Patriarchate in Jaffa Gate.
For this meeting, His Beatitude offered Mr. Leontaris an icon of the renovated Sacred Edicule and an icon of the Theotokos to his wife and associates.
Mr. Leontaris offered His Beatitude the emblem of the National Guard of Cyprus. From Secretariat-General