A meeting between Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and the head of the Greek Orthodox Church in America, Archbishop Elpidophoros, on Friday more-or-less ended a momentary “freeze” in relations between official Athens and the specific hierarch, days after he prominently appeared at a Turkish government event in Manhattan also attended by the leader of the Turkish Cypriot pseudo-state.

The meeting was essentially cancelled by Mitsotakis’ office following Elpidophoros’ attendance on Monday at the inauguration of the remodeled Turkish Center tower, where he participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony led by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, but also attended by Turkish Cypriot “president” Ersin Tatar. The breakaway state is only recognized by Ankara, which occupies one-third of Cyprus and fields a large military presence in the occupied areas. It was Tatar’s presence that generated most of the criticism against the Greek Orthodox religious leader, an ethnic Greek who was born and raised in Istanbul and is a Turkish citizen.

Elpidophoros, the Primate of the Ecumenical Patriarchate-affiliated Archdiocese of America, took to Twitter on Thursday evening to state, among others, that “…I sincerely regret the pain I inadvertently caused to my Cypriot and Greek American brothers, especially to my favorite flock.”

Greek government sources after the meeting, held in Greece’s permanent UN mission, avoided making mention of the furor, merely noting that the two men discussed issues affecting the Greek-American community and efforts to support the Archdiocese’s work.

In a bid to put end speculation over continued displeasure with the Archbishop, the same sources said Mitsotakis and Elpidophoros “reconfirmed the close and historic ties of mutual trust and cooperation connecting the Archdiocese and its flock with the motherland.”

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