Sunday, February 13, 2005

World Orthodox News: Question About Status of Church Property in Palestine Does Not Bear Threat to Negotiations with ROCOR(L), According To MP

(Interfax - ITAR-TASS - Vertograd : Moscow)

The official representative of MP's Department of External Relations, Archpriest Nikolai Balashov, stated in an interview with Interfax that the proceedings concerning the legal status of properties in the Holy Land does not bear a threat to the
negotiations process with ROCOR (L). Since these areas were given to the MP in 1997 and 2000, as the negotiations began, no one assumed that "their present status would be newly brought into question, and that their legal registration would cause manifestation of worry".

In the opinion of Fr. Nikolai Balashov, "it is important to forego the old property disputes, and to proceed from the acknowledgement of the present reality, focusing from the time of when the negotiations began".

Fr. Nikolai Balashov gave the interview for Interfax amidst protests expressed by the press- service of ROCOR (L) against the legal registration of property of ROCOR in the holy Land, seized in 1997 and 2000. The Moscow Patriarchate was able to gain control of the properties with the military assistance of the Palestinian authority.