Minister Reynders meets with representatives of the Syrian Orthodox community

date: 28 June 2013

Today, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders met with representatives of the Syrian Orthodox community in Belgium. The delegation was accompanied by Father Gümüs Samuel, Assistant to the Patriarch of the Syrian Orthodox Church of Germany. They discussed the situation of Christians in Syria and their deep concern regarding the fate of the Orthodox bishops in Aleppo, Archbishops Yuhanna Ibrahim and Boulos Yazigi, who were kidnapped on 22 April 2013.

Minister Reynders emphasised his commitment to the protection of all minorities, including religious minorities. He confirmed that he is monitoring the issue very closely with his European partners, in particular in the context of the Arab Spring.

Didier Reynders also pointed to the various steps that have already been taken in this respect. He promised to further develop contacts, including during his visit to Turkey on 1 and 2 July, when he will hold talks with the Turkish authorities and members of the Syrian opposition.