The Minister of Tourism, Charis Theocharis, held a meeting with Patriarch Theodore II of Alexandria and All Africa today, Saturday, April 3, 2021. The Greek minister is currently on a visit to Egypt at the invitation of his Egyptian counterpart Khaled Al-Anani.
Charis Theocharis, along with the Ambassador of Greece in Cairo, Nikolaos Garilidis, was welcomed by the Patriarch of Alexandria. The Patriarchal Vicar of Cairo, Metropolitan Nikodimos of Memphis, also attended the meeting as reported by ekkairo.org.
Patriarch Theodore and the minister discussed issues related to tourism. Besides, Patriarch Theodoros, as a Greek but also as an Egyptian, as he said, expressed his concern and showed his continuous interest in the resumption of tourism in both countries as it is their main economic activity.
Speaking about the visit that Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis will pay in a few hours to Libya, Patriarch Theodore announced that the Metropolitan of Tripoli was preparing to go to Tripoli and Benghazi to reopen the churches that had been closed due to the tense situation.
“Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis will visit Libya on Sunday to send everyone the message of peace, that the Mediterranean will always be a place of peace and prosperity.
The Metropolitan of Tripoli is preparing to go there, along with the congregation in Tripoli and in Benghazi and our Embassy and consulates, to be present in this country that will play a major role in the future for the reconciliation of peoples,” said Patriarch Theodore.
“Tourism is a lung of prosperity for our two countries, Egypt and Greece. And I want to tell them that Egypt is a safe country. Do not be afraid to come and visit Egypt, enjoy the love and hospitality of the Egyptian people and admire the great Egyptian culture,” said among others Patriarch Theodore.
On his part, the Minister of Tourism, Charis Theocharis, said that he was very pleased to meet Patriarch Theodore to receive his blessing.
“You are a vigilant guardian of Orthodoxy, of the history of this place but also of the modern effort so that the Word of God spreads all over the world.”
Finally, the Minister of Tourism pointed out that during the meeting he had with his Egyptian counterpart, Khaled Al-Anani, “we decided to help in the vaccination of the monks of the Holy Monastery of St. Catherine of Sinai, a monastery which, in addition to its cultural role, it is also a major attraction for thousands and tens of thousands of tourists every year, and this must be done in a safe way.”
Metropolitan Nikodimos of Memphis and the Abbot of the Monastery of St. George of Old Cairo, Fr. Damaskinos Alazrai, showed the minister around the place where St. George martyred, the monastery’s museum. The minister also visited the Greek cemetery.
Video and photos by Giannis Fourtounas