NEWS

Irenaios and Qorei hold talks

RAMALLAH (AFP) – Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qorei held talks yesterday with the beleaguered Greek Orthodox patriarch of Jerusalem, who pledged to cooperate with any probe into charges that the Patriarchate sold land to Jewish investors. Patriarch Irenaios is under growing pressure to stand down, with the row over the alleged sale in Jerusalem’s Old City raging unabated. «I met with the patriarch to clarify things,» said Qorei. «Our position is very clear. The properties of the Church in Jerusalem and properties of mosques in Jerusalem all belong to the Palestinian people and we are worried about any measures being taken that undermine this. The patriarch confirmed that he did not issue any authorization for sales or long leases… [and] that there was not any sale.» [In an interview with the Eleftheros Typos daily on Saturday, Irenaios insisted he was innocent and rejected calls to resign. The matter was discussed yesterday in a meeting in Istanbul between Greece’s deputy foreign minister, Panayiotis Skandalakis, and Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios, head of the world’s Orthodox Christians.]