“It is with great satisfaction the Interparliamentary Assembly of Orthodoxy (IAO) was informed of your appointment by the College of Commissioners to the critical post as Special Envoy for promotion of freedom of religion or belief outside the European Union.
On this occasion, I would like, on behalf of all the I.A.O. members to congratulate you and wish you every success in your new high tasks.
As you are aware, up to today, the I.A.O. has been consistent in the field of defending religious freedoms, especially for the Christian populations in the Middle East, who have been ruthlessly persecuted for their religious beliefs. The danger of the elimination of the Christian element from countries that have been residing for centuries should mobilize the international community and international organizations, in order to promote and consolidate an ambience of religious freedom and peaceful coexistence of all religious groups in those countries as is everywhere else. After all, you had the opportunity to experience yourself the existing situation, as well as our own initiatives, participating – as the then EU Commissioner – in the International Conference organized by the IAO. in Beirut in April 2018, on: “Unity in Diversity and Fundamental Freedoms for Christians and Muslims in the Middle East: A Conference for Parliamentary Dialogue”.
In this context, we anticipate that we will be able to cooperate in benefit of peace and freedom.
To this end, I hope we will soon have the opportunity to meet with you to discuss in detail issues of common interest.”