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United States

President-Elect Joe Biden’s Message to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew

CONSTANTINOPLE – President-elect Joe Biden sent a reply letter to His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, to whom he expressed his warm thanks for the congratulatory letter sent to him by His All-Holiness immediately after his electoral victory.

In his letter, Mr. Biden states:

"Your All Holiness,

"Thank you for your kind words and well-wishes. I am sorry that we have not yet had the opportunity to connect by phone.

"It is my great honor to have been elected the next President of the United States, and I understand just how much work lies ahead of us. Vice President-elect Harris and I will take office at a time of great global challenges – from the coronavirus to climate change – that transcend borders and require international cooperation. We look forward to working with you during this difficult moment.

"Thank you again, Your All Holiness. I look forward to future dialogue.

"Sincerely, Joe"

In a handwritten postscript, the U.S. President-elect wrote to the Ecumenical Patriarch: "Stay well. We need your leadership."

His All Holiness had written in his congratulatory letter among other things the following: “Those looking to you are those who thirst for religious freedom, those whose human rights are trampled, and those who yearn for freedom and justice. And there are so many of them! They also include the historical religious communities of the Middle East, who aspire to peaceful coexistence. Mr. President [Elect], may God be with you!”

It is reminded that the newly elected President of the United States had visited, in 2011, as Vice President of the United States, the Ecumenical Patriarch at the Phanar making history because he was the first sitting Vice President to do so. A few years earlier, in 2009, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, during his official visit to the United States for an international environmental conference which was hosted by the Patriarchate on a boat on the Mississippi River, had met in person with the then-President of the United States Barack Obama at the White House and with Vice President Biden at his official residence, where he hosted a formal dinner in honor of the Patriarch.

In his toast, Biden had warmly praised the personality, ministry, and initiatives Patriarch Bartholomew for promoting interfaith dialogue, tolerance, and peaceful coexistence in the world, but also for his efforts to raise awareness about the protection of the natural environment on a worldwide scale.

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