Ukrainian religious leaders met with the President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy

Friday, 04 October 2013, 17:38
Brussels – A delegation of the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations (AUCCRO) met with the President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, informed the Institute of Religious Freedom (IRF).

“Ukraine is a very important partner for Europe.  We have progressed ahead significantly in relations, especially in the most recent times.  I hope that in November we will sign the Agreement of Association.  We are convinced of this due to the constructive conversation which we had with President Yanukovych in New York. I am very pleased to greet you here as representatives of Ukraine,” stated Van Rompuy during the meeting.

From his side, the Primate of UOC-KP Patriarch Filaret (Denysenko) said: “We would like that through the association of Ukraine and the European Union, our country becomes solidified on its democratic path.  Much has already been done, and that which still has to be done, I am convinced, will be done with the assistance of Europe.”  Also UGCC Head, Sviatoslav (Shevchuk) emphasized that Ukraine is a European country which chose Euro-integration many years ago. “We represent the common people, our faithful.  And we want to testify to the support of the European choice of the majority of the Ukrainian people.  Much has been done; therefore, we ask Europe: do not forsake Ukraine at this significant moment of our history,” noted he.  Before this meeting, there was an opportunity for the Ukrainian Delegation to be introduced to the dignitaries from the Office of the President of the European Council.

During the dialogue with the European dignitaries, UOC Archpriest Rostyslav Snihirov stressed: “One of the fundaments of Europe is a respect for diversity.  And we hope that the rapprochement between Ukraine and Europe will enhance this diversity that exists in Ukraine, and which we here represent.”

Muftiy DUMU, sheikh Akhmed Tamim noted: “Ukraine is a country in which Muslims have lived for centuries.  We live in peace and understanding, we cooperate – and desire that it should be so in all of Europe, that there would be no room for extremism and aggression, that Muslim or other religious slogans not be used for spreading evil.”

“From the European Council, three of our presidents:  Herman Van  Rompuy (European Council), José Manuel Barroso (European Commission), and Martin Schulz (European Parliament)  meet every year with the top religious leaders of Europe.  This is specified in the Lisbon Agreement.  Therefore, for us, the inter-religious dialogue is extremely important and we are happy to greet all of you as representatives of the religious communities of Ukraine,” stated a representative of the office of Van Rompuy.

As mentioned by IRF, during the first day of their visit to Brussels, the delegation of Ukrainian religious leaders met with the members of European Parliament, empowered to cooperate with the institutions of European Union.








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