His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II participated in the Christian-Islamic Summit at the Maronite Patriarchate Headquarters in Bkerke upon the invitation of His Eminence Cardinal Mar Bechara Boutros Al-Rai, Maronite Patriarch of Antioch and All the East. The Summit aimed at declaring a united position following the US President Donald Trump’s decision to move the Embassy of US from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and declaring Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
The meeting was also attended by their Holinesses, Beatitudes and Excellencies: Patriarch Aram I, Armenian Orthodox Catholicos of Great See of Cilicia, Mor Ignatius Youssef III Younan, Syriac Catholic Patriarch of Antioch, Coptic Catholic Patriarch of Alexandria, Gregory Bedros XX Gabroyan, Joseph Absi, Greek Catholic Melkite Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, His Eminence Archbishop Antonius Al-Souri representing His Beatitude John X, Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, His Grace Bishop Cesar Essayan, Vi
car Apostolic of Beirut, Rev. Dr. Selim Sehiouni, Head of the High Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon, Rev. Fr. Ruwais Al-Ourashalimi, Priest of the Coptic Orthodox Church in Lebanon, as well as their Excellencies: Grand Mufti of Lebanon Sheikh Abdul Latif Derian, Vice-Speaker of the Supreme Lebanese Shia Parliament, Sheikh Abdul Amir Qabalan, and Druze Highest Sheikh al-Aql Naim Hassan.
His Holiness was accompanied by His Eminence Mor Severius Hawa, Metropolitan of Baghdad and Basra, and Very Rev. Raban Joseph Bali, Patriarchal Secretary and Media Office Director.
Following their meeting, their Holinesses, Beatitudes, and Excellencies issued a statement in which they expressed their shock at this decision. They hoped that the international community would stress the American president to change his mind; especially that it contravenes international laws which recognize Jerusalem as a spiritual city. They expressed their fear that this decision might lead to the violation of other international laws. The meeting also considered that this decision offenses Jerusalem which is a spiritual city for Jewish, Christian and Islamic religions.
The participants also expressed their support for Lebanese President Michel Aoun in his proposal to the United Nations to declare Lebanon as an international center for dialogue among people of different religions and cultures.