Friday, July 23, 2010
Kerry, Feingold, Ricciardone, Ecumencial Patriachate
Turning to Turkey, Kerry emphasized Turkey’s “dynamic economy [and] vibrant civil society in a region where, quite frankly, those assets are rare.” He observed that the country has begun asserting its interests in the Middle East and remarked on the importance of the Turkish-Israeli relationship.
Sen. Feingold indicated his concern over actions taken by the Turkish government that threaten the 2000-year-old Ecumenical Patriarchate in Istanbul, asking what Ricciardone would do as ambassador to address this problem. Ricciardone indicated that he would visit with the Ecumenical Patriarch, “make representations at the highest levels of the Turkish government, [and] work with the officials and with civil society” on this issue, “as on all other human rights issues.” He stated that he would also engage with other religious minorities in Turkey and “continue to report honestly on the state of that issue and other religious freedom issues.”
Complete coverage at http://pomed.org/blog/2010/07/pomed-notes-hearing-on-ambassadorial-nominees-to-iraq-lebanon-yemen-turkey.html/