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Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu makes historic visit to the Ecumenical Patriarchate

On Saturday afternoon, March 3, 2012, His All-Holiness received the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Hon. Ahmet Davuto─člu at the Phanar. This was the first such visit by a Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs to the Ecumenical Patriarchate. (Photo by N. Manginas)
View photos of the visit

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu paid a visit to the Ecumenical Patriarchate and met His All-Holiness on Saturday, March 3, 2012.

This was the first time ever that the head of Turkish diplomacy has visited the seat of the head of the Orthodox Christian Church and got an audience with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.

"What the world, and especially this region, need more than everything is harmony, the will for cohabitation and the mutual trust among religious and national groups," said Davutoglu, adding that "there are certain worrying developments in the Middle East."

Davutoglu's statement raises questions as to what may be the issues of international interest that Ankara wishes to discuss with the Ecumenical Patriarch as well as with other non-Muslim leaders.

For the time being the only issue that is burning in the Middle East, that also involves non-Muslim communities, is that of Syria, observers note.