The Greek Ambassador to Lebanon met with the Damascus-based Patriarch John X of Antioch on Wednesday.
Ambassador Katrina Fontoulaki met with Patriarch John X at the the Patriarchal Residence in Balamand on Wednesday in the northern Koura district of Lebanon.
The Koura District, getting its name from the Greek word for village (χώρα), is a predominately Greek Orthodox, with over 70% of the population identifying with the faith.
According to Orthodox Times, the meeting included an overview of the general situation in Lebanon while emphasising the importance of promoting the relations between Greece and the Antiochian Orthodox Church.
It can be assumed that the meeting between the pair would have been part of Greece’s rapprochement with Syria after abandoning the country in 2012 as the Syrian War began to intensify.
The Antiochian Orthodox Church was based in Antioch, once a part of Syria but stolen by Turkey in an illegal referendum in 1939 and renamed Hatay province.
Although still named after Antioch, the Antiochian Greek Orthodox Church relocated to the Syrian capital of Damascus in 1342 AD following the Ottoman invasion of the region.
The Church covers Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, Israel, Iraq, Kuwait, the UAE, Bahrain, Oman and parts of Turkey, as well as diaspora communities.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias commented days ago that Greece considers its relations with Syria and Libya “extremely important,” as reported by Greek City Times.
At the Conference of the Hellenic Society of International Law and International Relations, Dendias said:
“We consider extremely important our relations with countries that are united in addressing regional challenges, such as Syria and Libya, but also against the strong intervention of Turkey in the region.”