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ASSISTANT SECRETARY GORDON: First I want to say how delighted I am to be back in Turkey. I’m making a short visit to Istanbul. I was just in Athens for a couple of days.
I have followed for a long time the issue of the Halki Seminary. As His Eminence and everybody knows the United States has long supported the reopening of Halki. I was encouraged to hear this morning and in other recent discussions in Turkey positive things about the prospects for reopening the school and the seminary which we believe would be a hugely positive gesture in the direction of religious tolerance and openness and religious freedom, and it would be very much supported by the United States. We hope that in the very near future we could visit it as an actually functioning seminary.
Metropolitan Elpidophoros of Bursa: We hope so. Thank you for coming.
ASSISTANT SECRETARY GORDON: Thank you so much for receiving me.
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