NEWS

Greek FM Dimitris Avramopoulos to meet with US Secretary of State John Kerry

Greek Foreign Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos is to meet US Secretary of State John Kerry on the fringe of NATO talks in Brussels on Tuesday.

A statement by Greece’s Foreign Ministry said talks between the two men will concentrate on bilateral issues between the two allies as well as ongoing developments in southeastern Europe and the eastern Mediterranean.

The meeting will take place in the wake of Kerry’s visit to Istanbul, where, picking up from his predecessor Hillary Clinton, he urged Turkey to reopen an Orthodox seminary it shut down more than 40 years ago.

The European Union has set the reopening as a condition for membership.

“It is our hope that the Halki seminary will open,” said Kerry during a meeting with Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios, the spiritual leader of the world’s Greek Orthodox Christians.

Vartholomaios told America’s top diplomat that treatment of the Istanbul-based Patriarchate by the Turkish authorities had improved.

“Over the last few months and years, there has been progress in the government’s behavior toward the Patriarchate and more generally toward minorities,” he said while renewing calls for the theological school to be put back into operation.