Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Markos Bolaris received today Ambassador of the UK to Greece Kate Smith, with whom he exchanged views, in a very good climate, on issues of his portfolio.
On the occasion of the briefing by the Deputy Minister for the recent two-day Conference on Religious and Ecclesiastical Diplomacy (FM 28/2 – 1/3), the Ambassador stressed that the defense of religious freedom and the protection of religious minorities throughout the world are priorities of the UK Government.
She informed the Deputy Minister about the summary prepared by the British Foreign Office on the persecution of Christian populations around the world, in order to follow proposals by British Foreign Secretary Hunt for targeted interventions by his Office. They exchanged views on the possibilities for a close cooperation between the two countries, focusing on the protection of the Christians of the Middle East.
Apropos of the level that religious freedom has been enshrined in the wider region, the Deputy Minister informed the Ambassador of the UK about the impending reopening of the Halki Seminary, as well as about the latest developments regarding the granting of Autocephaly to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, by the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
The Deputy Minister referred to Greece’s longstanding request for the return of the Parthenon Marbles by the British Museum.