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I read that American President Obama met with the Ecumenical Patriarch during his trip to Turkey and that in his speech
yesterday said that the seminary at Halki should be reopened and that Turkey should acknowledge the Armenians genocide.

Have any of the American newspapers carried a more detailed story on this?

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Not directly related, but since Obama is in the "Do Not Offend" mode, I doubt he will raise the issue. Just look at what happened regarding the Armenian Genocide. He side-stepped it so as not to offend.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article6045165.ece

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Obama makes appeal on Halki

US president, on Ankara visit, urges Turks to reopen Orthodox seminary, calls for ‘bicommunal’ Cyprus
US President Barack Obama, addressing Turkey’s Grand National Assembly yesterday, urged Ankara to reopen the Halki Orthodox Seminary near Istanbul as a gesture to show it supports freedom of expression and pushed for a solution to the Cyprus problem.

On his first official visit to the country, the president praised Turkey for taking steps toward granting rights to its Kurdish citizens. But he urged the Turks to drop their resistance to reopening a historic Orthodox seminary located on an island near Istanbul, a key demand by the European Union which Turkey hopes to join. “The United States strongly supports Turkey’s bid to become a member of the European Union... [but] Turkey has its own responsibilities,” Obama told an audience which included his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul. “Freedom of religion and expression lead to a strong and vibrant society that only strengthens the state, which is why steps like reopening the Halki Seminary will send such an important signal inside Turkey and beyond,” Obama added. The Turks have consistently dodged Greek appeals for the reopening of the seminary, asserting that a religious institution cannot exist in Turkey without government oversight.

Obama also offered US support for a new drive to reunify Cyprus. “The United States is willing to offer all the help sought by the parties as they work toward a just and lasting settlement that reunifies Cyprus into a bizonal and bicommunal federation,” he said.

The US president also encouraged Turkey to resolve its dispute with Armenia. “I know there are strong views in this chamber about the terrible events of 1915,” he said in reference to the widespread killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks. The US president avoided using the word “genocide” as he had done early last year when he was a presidential candidate. He added, “The best way forward for the Turkish and Armenian people is a process that works through the past in a way that is honest, open and constructive.”

www.ekathimerini.com [ekathimerini.com]






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Thank you for posting this Alice!!!

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"Not directly related, but since Obama is in the "Do Not Offend" mode, I doubt he will raise the issue. Just look at what happened regarding the Armenian Genocide. He side-stepped it so as not to offend.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article6045165.ece"


While I am certainly not an Obama fan, and am very far right of center politically, I do not have a problem with Obama's answer on the Aermenian Genocide question. I think Bush would have answered that question in much the same way.


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It's not in anyone interest in 'the west' to have Turkey as an enemy right now. Mr Obama did meet up with various religious leaders while there. I saw a photo of the President with the Chief Rabbi in an online news paper.

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Here is an article about his meeting with the Ecumenical Patriarchate:
Quote
MEETING OF ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH BARTHOLOMEW WITH PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA

NEW YORK “ His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew had a private meeting today with President Barack Obama. The meeting took place at the Conrad Hotel in Constantinople (modern day Istanbul) at approximately 9:45 in the
morning. His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America and the White House Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, were present at the meeting.
The meeting and ensuing discussion were marked by a spirit of warm cordiality and mutual respect. The substance of the discussions included President Obama's mention of the issue of the Theological School of Halki in his speech before the Turkish Parliament, and his further discussion of the same
with the President of the Turkish Republic, Abdullah Gul. The President said that he would follow up on the issue with a view to a favorable solution for the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew made reference to the following points:
He made a convincing and passionate argument for the speedy re-opening of the Theological School of Halki, a basic need for the education and preparation of Clergy of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
He emphasized the importance of religious liberty and the guarantee of same for all minorities of Turkey.
He stated his well-known and long time support for the efforts of Turkey to join the European Union.
He noted the significance of efforts made on behalf of the environment, adding information on his own upcoming Ecological Symposium in the U.S.A. (Mississippi River) in October of 2009.
He thanked President Obama for this meeting and for his active interest in the pressing issues of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

His All Holiness mentioned that he had sent to the President, through the local U.S. General Counsel, an icon of the Prophet Baruch (patron of the President) with a handwritten inscription. He also congratulated the President for the
championship victory of the University of North Carolina's Basketball Team, which the President had chosen to win.



GREEK ORTHODOX ARCHDIOCESE OF AMERICA
8-10 East 79th St. New York, NY 10075-0106
Tel: (212) 570-3530 Fax: (212) 774-0237
Web: http://www.goarch.org - Email: communications@...

Contact: PRESS OFFICE
Stavros Papagermanos
pressoffice@...

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Thanks for sharing....

The icon of the Prophet Baruch was a very nice, very personal, very touching, very beautiful and well thought out gift...

I hope that Pres. Obama is spiritually open minded enough to appreciate the beauty of this gift.

Alice


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