Mike Pompeo arrives in Istanbul ahead of meeting with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew

Mike Pompeo arrives in Istanbul ahead of meeting with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew

Mike Pompeo arrived in Istanbul on Monday evening ahead of his meeting with Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew on Tuesday.

Last week, the State Department announced: “Following Paris, Secretary Pompeo will travel to Istanbul, Turkey to meet with His All Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I, to discuss religious issues in Turkey and the region, and to promote our strong stance on religious freedom around the world.”

It is recalled Turkey expressed its anger and criticised the US for raising concerns “over religious issues”.

Communiqué from Ecumenical Patriarchate regarding upcoming visit of Sec. of State Michael R. Pompeo

We are pleased to announce that the Hon. Michael R. Pompeo, United States Secretary of State, will at his initiative visit the See of the Ecumenical Patriarchate this Tuesday, November 17, which is the source of joy and honor for the Mother Church of Constantinople.

We recall that in the past, other U.S. Secretaries of State have also visited the Ecumenical Patriarchate, such as Madeline Albright, John Kerry, and Hillary Clinton.

Such visits demonstrate the significance and standing of the Ecumenical Patriarchate as an institution with a history of many centuries, with an invaluable offering and contribution to global civilization.

During his visit to the Phanar, the Secretary expects to discuss with His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew issues of fundamental rights and religious freedom, on which, as known, the United States has always been interested in consolidating throughout the world.

In this context, we note that in February, 2019, Secretary Pompeo had invited the Ecumenical Patriarch to Washington, DC, to discuss and exchange views on similar issues of concern to humanity today, including the role of religions in establishing peace and stability in the world. However, at the time, the obligations of His All-Holiness prevented that meeting from taking place in the United States.

The Ecumenical Patriarchate expresses its satisfaction for this forthcoming high visit to its See and its gratitude to the U.S. Secretary of State for incorporating it in the schedule of his ten-day journey to Europe and the Middle East.

At the Phanar, November 15, 2020

From the Chief Secretariat

of the Holy and Sacred Synod

*Image Credit: TA NEA