The meeting of the I.A.O. International Secretariat and Committee Chairpersons was held in Jerusalem and Bethlehem, 19 – 22 October 2013.
The President of the I.A.O. General Assembly, Member of the Russian State Duma Mr. Sergei Popov, the Secretary General, Member of the Hellenic Parliament Mr. Anastasios Nerantzis, and MPs-members of I.A.O.’s International Secretariat and Committee Chairpersons from Greece, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Poland, Romania, Russia and Serbia participated in the meeting. In addition, Fr. Aswin Fernandis from the Orthodox Syrian Malankara Church from India and Mr. Leo van Doesburg, Manager External Affairs of the European Christian Political Movement (ECPM) participated in the works as well.
The I.A.O. members had the opportunity to meet with His All Holiness, Beatitude Patriarch of Jerusalem and All Palestine, Theophilos III at the Patriarchate and exchange commemorative gifts.
Mr. Fuad Kokaly, member of the I.A.O. Committee on Human Rights participated at the meeting of the I.A.O. International Secretariat and presented a report on the Christians’ situation in the Middle East. The Members of the Palestinian Legislative Council: Mr. Abdallah Abdallah, Chairman of the Political Committee of the Palestinian Legislative Council, Member of Fatah Revolutionary Party, Mrs. Khalida Jarrar, Member of the Central Committee of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Mr. Qais Abdul Karim. Member of the Central Committee of the Palestinian Popular Front and Mr.Fayez Saqqa, participated as well and extensively informed the International Secretariat members on the Palestinian issue.
The I.A.O. members, during their stay in Jerusalem, had the opportunity for a pilgrimage to the Holy Church of Resurrection and in Bethlehem to the Holy Church of Nativity. Moreover, they had a meeting with representatives of the Orthodox communities of the region.