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Athens News Agency
July 12, 1999

Archdiocese of America the focus of Vartholomeos-Spyridon talks

ISTANBUL, 12/07/1999 (ANA - A. Kourkoulas)

Talks here over the leadership question created at the Archdiocese of America will continue at the Patriarchate today, while Archbishop of America Spyridon made no comments yesterday after talks with Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos and the Holy Synod.

However, sources close to Spyridon reiterated that he will not resign.

Spyridon attended a dinner hosted by the Ecumenical Patriarch in honour of a US Episcopal Church delegation, which is paying an official visit to the Patriarchate.

Archbishop Spyridon arrived in Istanbul yesterday.

In regular meetings and deliberations over the past month, the Ecumenical Patriarchate's Synod discussed the situation being shaped in the American Archdiocese.

According to other sources, the Synod, which avoided to date to adopt accusations made against Spyridon by various groups from the Archdiocese of America, tends to believe that Spyridon's personality is aggravating the situation and is making the handling of accumulated problems difficult.

Greek foreign ministry delegation:
Meanwhile, the head of the foreign ministry's religious affairs department held discussions here yesterday with Vartholomeos.

Stylianos Valsamas-Rallis was accompanied by Greece's ambassador to Ankara, Yiannis Korantzis, and Athens' general consul in Istanbul, Fotis Xydas.

The foreign ministry delegation had requested a meeting with Vartholomeos following a meeting in Athens last week. According to reports, talks focused on issues concerning the Archdiocese of America.

Finally, the Metropolitan of Pittsburgh, Maximos, is also expected at the Patriarchate.