Athens News Agency - March 30, 1999

Spyridon Appeals to White House Over Kosovo

By Justine Frangouli

In a private letter to President Clinton, dated March 26, Archbishop Spyridon of America asked the President to halt NATO air attacks on Yugoslavia in view of the upcoming celebration of the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Easter. The letter was hand-delivered by John Catsimatidis, President of the Archdiocesan Council, who met with Bill Clinton on Sunday at Camp David.

In his letter, Archbishop Spyridon appealed for a cessation of hostilities so that the Orthodox people of Serbia and the Roman Catholic minority in Kosovo may commemorate the Crucifixion and the Resurrection under peaceful conditions. This would also provide a good opportunity to resume dialogue without the loss of human lives.

Also, in a letter to President Slobodan Milosevic, the Primate of the Orthodox Church in America urged the Yugoslavian Head of State to "allow the holy days of our blessed Orthodox Faith to be an opportunity for peace and cessation of violence on all sides." "Together with all the Orthodox people of America, we are ready and willing to be of any and all assistance to bring peace and stability to the region," Archbishop Spyridon concluded.

Furthermore, in a letter to Patriarch Pavle of Serbia, the Archbishop of America expressed his Church's solidarity with the much-afflicted people of Yugoslavia and the hope that the Easter season will bring a ceasefire and provide the way to a peaceful end to the crisis.

[ Translated from Greek ]

[ Αθηναϊκό Πρακτορείο Ειδήσεων - March 30, 1999 ]