On Thursday 30 January, Cardinal Kurt Koch, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, was received by the President of the Republic of Lebanon, General Michel Aoun.
Cardinal Koch led a delegation of the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches, which is holding its plenary meeting from 27–31 January in Atchaneh, Lebanon, at the invitation of the Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch.
The delegation included Coptic Orthodox Bishop Kyrillos of Los Angeles, Oriental Orthodox Co-Chair of the Commission, Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Legate of the Armenian Apostolic Church (Catholicosate of Etchmiadzin) in Western Europe, Bishop Paul Rouhana, of the Maronite Patriarchal Eparchy of Sarba, and Reverend Father Hyacinthe Destivelle, Catholic Co-Secretary of the Commission.
In his meeting with President Aoun, Cardinal Koch outlined the recent developments in theological dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches and assured him of the Commission's prayer in the current difficulties facing the country.
In response, President Aoun stressed the importance of dialogue in Lebanon between the different churches and also between Christians and Muslims. He also mentioned the project to create in Lebanon an "Academy for Human Encounters and Dialogue ", an initiative welcomed by Cardinal Koch.