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Foreign Minister Droutsas visits Mount Athos(3-4 June 2011)

Saturday, 04 June 2011

Foreign Minister Droutsas visits Mount Athos(3-4 June 2011)

Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas visited Mount Athos on 3 and 4 June, accompanied by the Foreign Ministry’s Secretary General, Ambassador Y.-A. Zepos, and Mount Athos Governor A. Kasmiroglou. “We honor Mount Athos. We stand by You, as You do us,” were the words of Mr. Droutsas’s reply to Protos Paul Lavriotis and the Members of the Holy Community, who received him at the Protaton.

Mr. Droutsas chairs the interministerial Committee set up on the instructions of Prime Minister George Papandreou for the “planning and promotion of the protection of Mount Athos and other matters concerning the Mount Athos Community.” During the meeting, a decision was taken to create a secretariat that will support the Committee’s work and monitor the implementation of its decisions.

Within the framework of his visit to the Athos peninsula, Mr. Droutsas visited the Holy Monastery of Xenophontas, where he was warmly received by Abbot Archimandrite Alexios and the Brotherhood of the Monastery. Welcoming the Minister, the Abbot stressed that “it is a great pleasure to have our Monastery visited by you today.” In his response, Mr. Droutsas underscored that “the historical course of the monastic Community of Athos shows incontrovertibly the assistance, participation, solidarity, work and, in particular, the willingness of its residents to make whatever sacrifice necessary in the difficult circumstances our country has gone through from time to time.” “We are grateful for this, as we are for the fact that the Greek space includes wonderful Athos, with its vital and vast cultural heritage, which continues to grow thanks to the presence and work of its residents,” the Foreign Minister said.