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27 May, 1998
Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos was received here yesterday by Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien, Foreign Affairs Minister Lloyd Axworthy and Governor General Romeo Leblan.
The Patriarch began an official nine-day visit to Canada on Monday.
The Patriarch also had a meeting with Turkey's ambassador in Ottawa, after which he appeared optimistic over the imminent re-opening of the Halki School of Theology by Turkish authorities.
"The Turkish government has given us good signs on that matter, and we can now be more optimistic than we were in the past", Vartholomeos said.
The Turkish diplomat declined to comment, but stressed that he was pleased at the Patriarch's visit.
Vartholomeos later attended a reception hosted by the Greek ambassador in Ottawa, Yiannis Thomoglou, during which he announced that Greek Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos will visit the Ecumenical Patriarchate in early June.
Mr. Thomoglou stressed the historic importance of the first-ever visit of an Ecumenical Patriarch to Canada, with some 380,000 ethnic Greeks and 76 Greek Orthodox communities.
Source: Athens News Agency