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Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Markos Bolaris meets with the Ambassador of the United Kingdom to Greece (13 March 2019)
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Markos Bolaris today received the Ambassador of the United Kingdom to Greece, Kate Smith, with whom he exchanged views related to issues in his portfolio, in a very positive climate.
Further to the briefing by the Deputy Minister on the recent two-day conference on religious and ecclesiastical diplomacy (Ministry of Foreign Affairs 28/2 - 1/3), the Ambassador stressed that defending religious liberty and protecting religious minorities across the globe constitutes a priority for the Government of the UK. In relation to this, she briefed the Deputy Minister on the document that the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office is preparing on the persecution that Christian populations face around the world, aiming for proposals to follow by the British Foreign Secretary, Mr. Hunt, on targeted intervention by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Views were exchanged on the possibilities for close collaboration between the two countries centred on the protection of Christians in the Middle East.
Discussing religious liberty in the region, the Deputy Minister briefed the UK Ambassador on the pending issue of re-opening the Theological School of Halki, as well as on the most recent developments on the issue of recognition of Autocephaly in the Ukrainian Orthodox Church by the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
The Deputy Minister referred to Greece’s long-standing request for the return of the Parthenon Marbles by the British Museum.
Finally, in light of the 200th anniversary from the start of the Greek Revolution of 1821, the possibilities for cooperation were discussed in organising events, in Greece and the UK, aiming to showcase, in both countries, the common historical memory on the events that led to the independence of the Greek State, the contribution of Great Britain, and the actions of British philhellenes.