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Ecumenical Patriarch and Ukrainian President Yuschenko hold meeting

President Victor Yuschenko of Ukraine met with His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew at the Patriarchal Residence in Tarabya, as part of the President’s working visit to Turkey. A cordial and whole-hearted discussion on issues of common concern took place on Wednesday, May 20, 2009.

Discussions were held on a representative office of the Ecumenical Patriarchate opening in Ukraine in the format of a churchyard or a cultural and informational center. The two leaders also addressed ways to step up contacts between Ukraine and the Ecumenical Patriarchate. President Yuschenko said he wants this dialogue to be intensified at all levels and confirmed his country’s interest in establishing a local Orthodox Church in Ukraine. His Excellency also said he is convinced that “the Ecumenical Church and the personal wisdom and efforts of the Ecumenical Patriarch himself play the most important role in all unification processes.”

The press service said that His All Holiness and President Yuschenko discussed preparations for the All Orthodox Council while meetings between representatives of local Orthodox Churches will take place ahead of the event.

His Eminence Metropolitan Emmanuel of France and the Very Reverend Elpidophoros Lambriniadis, Chief Secretary of the Holy and Sacred Synod, were also present at the meeting on behalf of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

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