Archbishop Elpidophoros of America on Thursday thanked US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for a meeting in at the State Department in Washington.
According to reports, the meeting addressed ongoing developments in the Eastern Mediterranean, while Elpidophoros expressed his concerns about Christian minorities in Turkey and about the recent conversion of the Christian basilica and museum of Hagia Sophia into a mosque.
In a post on Twitter, the Greek Orthodox archbishop thanked Pompeo “for his ready ear to listen to concerns around security for the Ecumenical Patriarchate, peace in the Mediterranean and the seizure of Hagia Sophia.”
“The US must uphold rule of law, rights of minorities in Turkey, and peace for Greece, Cyprus and Turkey,” Elpidophoros added in his tweet.
The meeting came ahead of an expected visit to Athens by Pompeo. No date has been set for the visit.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Elpidophoros also said that he expressed his “grave concerns about Turkey’s aggressive stance in the Eastern Mediterranean.”
“I also had occasion to express the ever-increasing apprehension and deepest concern of the Greek-American community over an ever-increasing aggressive stance of Turkey against Greece and Cyprus. I sought from the secretary of state the support of the American government for the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Greek community in Turkey and for all religious minorities in Turkey,” Elpidophoros added in a statement issued after meeting.