High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton visits the monastery of Decani
His Grace Vicar Bishop Teodosije of Lipljan, with protosyngellos Sava (Janjic) and hieromonk Andrej (Sajc) received today at Visoki Decani Monastery Високу High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton. Lady Ashton was accompanied by : Yves de Kermabon (Head of EULEX), Pierre Mirel (EC Director for Western Balkans), Robert Cooper (Director-General for External and Politico-Military Affairs at the General Secretariat of the Council of the EU), Dimitris Moshopoulos (head of Greek office in Prishtina and newly appointed EU special adviser for the issues of Serbian cultural heritage in Kosovo) with associates.
Bishop Teodosije wished Ms Ashton welcome at the monastery, which was one of the most important Serbian Orthodox holy sanctuaries in Kosovo and Metohia, along with the Patriarchate of Pec, the historical seat of the SOC, Gracanica and the the shrines of Prizren. "Protection of human and religious rights of the Serbian people in Kosovo and Metohia is one of the most important priorities of the Serbian Orthodox Church in this region and we hope to create conditions for the return of large numbers of displaced Serbs," Bishop said adding that "our people in enclaves are still living very hard and better conditions shoud be created for their life and future. "
Ms. Ashton expressed admiration for the beauty of the monastery and pointed out a great importance of preserving the Orthodox churches in Kosovo and Metohia, to which the newly appointed Special Adviser for the issues of Serbian cultural and religious heritage Moshopulos will especially contribute.
At the end of their one-hour visit to the Decani Monastery Catherine Ashton visited the Decani church and learned about a centuries-old history of the monastery.