Catholicosate of Cilicia
Antelias - Lebanon
On Saturday 15 May 2013, representatives of churches and communities from Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Qatar, Sharja, Kuwait and Bahrain met in Abu Dhabi. Rev. Mesrob Sarkissian, the Pontifical Delegate for Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, represented the Catholicosate of Cilicia.
On the eve of the meeting, the new General Secretary of the Middle East Council of Churches Dr. Michel Jalkh met with His Holiness Aram I to discuss his participation in the Abu Dhabi meeting. The Catholicos knows the region well, having been involved in the early discussions with the representatives of the communities and churches in the region. He made the following observations: “The initiative is important because it gives visibility to the Christian presence in the Gulf region;” the new Council should not function as an independent body but always remain accountable to the Middle East Council of Churches, which to this point has been the sole body to represent and speak on behalf of Christians in the region; given the religious and political sensitivities in the region, priorities of the new body should be carefully discussed and identified.