Patriarchate ‘key partner’ in US fight for religious freedom, says Pompeo


US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met in Istanbul on Tuesday with Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios and visited the Patriarchal Church of St. George during a brief stop in Turkey that will not include meetings with government officials.

The object of the visit, according to a State Department announcement, was to discuss religious freedoms in Turkey.

“As leader of the Orthodox world, the Ecumenical Patriarchate is a key partner as we continue to champion religious freedom around the globe,” Pompeo said in a message on Twitter after meeting with Vartholomaios.

Pompeo also met with the apostolic nuncio to Turkey, Archbishop Paul Russell, according to The Associated Press.