His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II met with His Royal Highness Sayyid Haitham bin Tariq Al Said, the Personal Representative of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said, Sultan of Oman, and Minister of Heritage and Culture in the Sultanate of Oman, at the Ministry of Heritage and Culture in Muscat.
His Royal Highness welcomed His Holiness in the Sultanate of Oman, conveying to him the greetings of His Majesty the Sultan and his love and respect to all Christians and to our Church in Oman.
His Holiness thanked His Royal Highness for his warm welcome, and prayed for the continuous success and good health of His Majesty the Sultan as well as His Royal Highness Sayyid Haitham, showing is gratefulness to the atmosphere of tolerance found in Oman.
During their meeting, they discussed issues related to the current crisis in Syria, and assured that a peaceful resolution should be reached. His Holiness spoke about the history of our Syriac Church in the region, and pointed out that we had churches in different places in Oman, and about the present of our Church and people there. He also spoke about the painful history of our church and the continuous persecutions she had suffered, especially during Sayfo. He also pointed out to the abduction of their Eminences Archbishops of Aleppo, Mor Gregorius Youhanna Ibrahim, and Boulos Yaziji, and asked the help of His Royal Highness to bring their case to a good end, noting the great role of His Royal Highness in the release of Fr. Tom in Yemen.
His Royal Highness emphasized the importance of reaching peace and stability in the Middle East, and assured that the history of the Sultanate of Oman goes back to hundreds of years of religious freedom and is open to all religions. He also showed his readiness to help in the case of the two abducted archbishops, and noted the respect of our faithful there to the Sultanate.
The meeting was attended by their Eminences: Mor Gregorios Joseph, Metropolitan of Cochin Diocese and Secretary of the Regional Episcopal Synod in India, Mor Clemis Daniel Kourieh, Metropolitan of Beirut, and Mor Timotheos Matthew, Patriarchal Secretary for Indian Affairs, as well as Very Rev. Raban Joseph Bali, Patriarchal Secretary and Media Office Director, and Commander Thomas Alexander.
At the end of the meeting, His Holiness and His Excellency exchanged tokens of respect.