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Obama asked Athens to recognize the Muslim minorities in Thrace

13 April 2009 / 09:04:44  GRReporter
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The US President Barack Obama asked from Athens to recognize the Muslim minority in Greek Thrace. This is what he said on his 10 minute meeting with the Ecumenical Patriarch Vartolomei in Istanbul. The patriarch asked the US president to open the Theological school in Halki and Barack Obama said that this will happen only if Athens undertakes analogical steps regarding the Muslim minority in Thrace.

According to information from the Greek media, the American President told Vartolomei that just the way that the Theological school in Halki teaches orthodox priests in a Muslim country, Greece needs to have schools, which will teach Muslims and other religions. Barack Obama also supported the Muslim appeal from North Greece to choose their own Mufti and not for it to be given to them by the government.

It is interesting to note that the Muslim rights in Northern Greece were brought up by the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during her meeting with the Archbishop of America Dimitrios. Dimitrios insisted for the Theological school opening and Clinton answered that this will happen only if Athens takes some measures regarding the Muslims in Northern Greece. Back then, the US ambassador in Athens Daniel Speckhard tried to belittle Clinton’s words by saying that she was just repeating the Turkish need.

Greek newspapers remind that the Muslim rights in Greece were mentioned as a condition for the opening of the Theological school also by the Turkish Foreign Minister Alli Babadjan during his meeting with Dora Bakoyanni last week in Istanbul.


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