Georgian Ambassador to Israel Paata Kalandadze met with the Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos III on April 24, the Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported.
During the meeting, the Georgian Ambassador raised the issue of the Jerusalem Patriarch’s April 10 meeting with a group of Abkhaz pilgrims, specifically on the reports of Abkhaz media sources that Theophilos III has reportedly promised the pilgrims to “pray for Abkhazia, its residents and the country’s leadership.”
According to the Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Patriarch responded to Ambassador Kalandadze that he did not attach a political context to the meeting and received the visitors only as Christians who came to the Holy Land to pray.
This is the second time Theophilos III has met a delegation from Abkhazia. The previous meeting took place last year on April 28 with participation of Abkhaz MP Said Kharazia, who now serves as the deputy chairman of the region’s legislature.
Greek-born Theophilos III (Ilias Giannopoulos, b. April 4, 1951) was enthroned as the Jerusalem Patriarch in November 2005.