The Joint Meeting of the International Secretariat and Committee Chairpersons of the Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy (I.A.O.) was held in Athens, 9 – 10 October 2012. Parliamentary delegations from the Russian Federation, Greece, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Serbia, Poland, Egypt, Kazakhstan and Canada participated at the meeting with the presence of the President of the General Assembly, Mr. Sergei Popov; the I.A.O. Secretary General Mr. Anastasios Nerantzis chaired throughout the meeting.
The Secretary General, Mr. Anastasios Nerantzis, introduced the new members of the Hellenic Parliamentary delegation to the I.A.O. and the presented the overview of the 19th General Assembly held in Prague, 26 – 29 June 2012.
The I.A.O. General Secretary Mr. Anastasios Nerantzis briefed the I.A.O. members about the realization of the conference in Boston (16 – 18 November 2012) with subject: «CIVIL SOCIETY AND ORTHODOXY», where US Orthodox theological Schools, representatives of Churches and religions, Parliamentarians, Community representatives etc. will participate. Also, about the meeting with representatives of the US Congress in Washington DC (18 – 20 November 2012), where they will have the opportunity to exchange views on issues of interest. Moreover, he informed the I.A.O. members about the visit to Ottawa (20 – 23 November 2012) and the realization of the meeting with representatives of the Parliament of Canada in order to exchange views on issues of interest.
The next meeting of the I.A.O. International Secretariat and Committee Chairpersons was decided to be held in Constantinople in March 2013.
The I.A.O. Advisor Dr. Kostas Mygdalis informed the I.A.O. members about the meeting he had with Monsigniore Crotty (17 September 2012), director of the office of Monsignore Balestrero, Vatican Undersecretary of State, and their discussion regarding the problems of the presence of Christians in the wider region of Middle East, on cooperation issues in Africa and other issues of common interest.
The I.A.O. Advisor Prof. Valery Alexeev informed the I.A.O. members for the informal meeting the I.A.O. Advisors had in Constantinople, 24 September 2012 with the Secretary General of the Parliamentary Union of the OIC Member States (PUIC) Prof. Dr. Mahmut Erol Kilic, following the initiative of Mr. Cemal Uşak, Journalist, collaborator of the Prime Minister of Turkey Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Vice President of the Journalists and Writers Foundation.
The I.A.O. future activities were extensively discussed, as well as issues concerning I.A.O.’s international cooperation; also, the approval of the Statutory text of the Foundation with title «Foundation for Democracy, Parliamentarism and Religious Tolerance in Africa» and the decision on appointing members for the Board of Directors.
Mr. Emad Gad, Member of Parliament of Egypt briefed the I.A.O. members on the situation of Christians in the Middle East.
They also discussed issues relating to the content and scope of the festive events for the 20th I.A.O. anniversary in 2013 and the 20th I.A.O. General Assembly, which will be held in Athens, 26 June -1 July 2013.