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At the meeting of the President of the Riigikogu Ene Ergma with the Archbishop of Constantinople and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the extremely worrying tragic situation in Syria was discussed. It was underlined that, in solving the crisis, civilians must be protected and loss of human lives must be avoided, and spreading of the conflict in the region must be prevented. States and international organisations must provide more help to refugees whose number is growing very rapidly. 

At the meeting, Ergma expressed her respect to Patriarch Bartholomew in connection with the recognition of the autonomy of the Orthodox Church of Estonia of the Patriarchate of Constantinople 90 years ago. “That decision came at a very timely moment and supported Estonia’s confidence in the establishment of its sovereignty. It laid a firm foundation for the Orthodox Church of Estonia that enabled to preserve historical and legal continuity in exile during the Soviet period and later allowed for the restoration of the continuity of the activities of the church in Estonia by way of restitution,” Ergma noted. 

The importance of the protection of human rights and ensuring the freedom of religion in the world was stressed at the meeting. The significance of the cooperation of different churches was stated, as well as the close dialogue between states and religious organisations with a view to creating a more peaceful world, and avoiding the spread of conflicts between different understandings and their becoming hotbeds of tension. 

The Vice President of the Riigikogu Laine Randjärv and Members of the Riigikogu Annely Akkermann and Olga Sõtnik took part in the meeting. 

Pictures of the meeting: http://fotoalbum.riigikogu.ee/v/2013/Ene+Ergma/Bartholomeos/

The Riigikogu Press Service 

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