Aram I to Preside Over Kosovo Summit

ANTELIAS–Lebanon–In his capacity as chairman of the World Council of Churches–His Holiness Aram I–Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia has organized a summit–over which he will preside–to address the current crisis in Kosovo.

Scheduled to participate in the summit are church leaders from Yugoslavia–Russia and NATO countries. Efforts are also underway to involve Muslim leaders in this summit.

The summit–scheduled for May 30–will address the Kosovo conflict and aim to provide a lasting and complete resolution to the crisis–emphasizing the important role religion plays in peace processes and preservation of human rights.

The World Council of Churches has been active in providing humanitarian support to the victims of the Kosovo conflict and from its onset has been in negotiations with world leaders to end the military action.

Aram I has appealed to presidents of NATO countries to end the airstrikes against Yugoslavia. He has also written to Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic and condemned Serb treatment of ethnic Albanians.

His Holiness has also urged UN Secretary General Kofi Anan to accelerate efforts to move the conflict from NATO to the UN.

Immediately after NATO airstrikes began–the World Council of Churches dispatched a representative to Yugoslavia to assess the conditions in Kosovo–Albania and other affected areas. Aram I and the Council are in constant contact with the Yugoslavian Orthodox Church leader

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