President Bashar al-Assad received Wednesday Mor Ignatius Aphrem II Karim of Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All East, Supreme Head of the Universal Syriac Orthodox Church, and the accompanying Patriarchate delegation.
President al-Assad congratulated Karim for being elected Patriarch, wishing him luck in his new post and affirming the Patriarchate’s vital role in spreading the culture of love and fraternity in the face of the threat posed by exclusionist takfiri mentality affecting the region and the world.
For his part, Patriarch Karim hoped that security and peace will prevail in Syria whose people are a shining example of national unity, asserting that the Syriac Orthodox Patriarchate supports the Syrian people’s struggle against terrorism and their right to self-determination away from interference and dictation from any foreign side.
Karim was elected Patriarch on Monday at al-Atshaneh in Lebanon. He was born in al-Qamishli city in Hasaka province, Syria, in 1965, and served as archbishop of the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch for the Eastern United States of America.