GOARCH - March 30, 1999

Archbishop Spyridon Writes to Secretary of State Albright on Kosovo

New York, NY - His Eminence Archbishop Spyridon, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America has written a letter to Secretary of State Madeleine Albright on the conflict in Kosovo. The Archbishop had been scheduled yesterday for a telephone conference call with other Orthodox leaders and the Secretary of State, but the telephonic meeting did not materialize. The substance of the Archbishop's letter is as follows:

"I greet you in the name of peace, with a heart filled with sorrow at the continuing conflict in Yugoslavia, yet hopeful that a reasonable and just settlement may still be achieved through peaceful means. Inasmuch as we were not able to hold our conference call this afternoon with the other Orthodox leaders, I am taking this opportunity to convey to you the substance of our concerns. Please know that we are very eager to meet with you and seek positive solutions. I therefore request such a meeting at the earliest date possible and I shall instruct my staff to pursue this matter with all haste.

"As the leaders of the Orthodox people of the United States, we represent Americans of all ethnic backgrounds, and not only those of Greek, Serbian, Russian and Middle Eastern descent. Moreover, we speak with one voice, the voice of the deeply concerned Orthodox Christians across our great country. This voice echoes the cries from the leaders of Orthodox Christianity around the globe, who represent over 250,000,000 human persons and who are calling for a peaceful resolution.

"We stand united against violence in any form perpetrated on any and all peoples, including the current NATO bombing. We believe that war will not bring peace in Kosovo. We further maintain that the NATO attacks will only serve to further aggravate the shedding of blood and harden the deep-rooted positions held on all sides. We wholeheartedly support a peaceful and just resolution to the conflict in Kosovo by bringing back the parties to the negotiating table. We implore you to seek that peace without resorting to weapons of destruction or the deployment of NATO ground forces."

   March 30, 1999 ]