Admiral James Stavridis, NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe, visited with KFOR Commander Folker Halbauer Stauropegial Laura of the Patriarchate of Pec in Metohija on Thursday, October 11, 2012 . Admiral Stavridis was welcomed by His Grace Kyr Jovan, Bishop of Lipljan, Vicar Bishop of the Serbian Patriarch, who informed him about the treasure of the Mother church of all Serbian churches.
Admiral Stavridis, as a descendant of the Greeks from Asia Minor, understood a complicated history of Kosovo and Metohija. He expressed a particular interest for the destiny and preservation of the Serbian Orthodox shrines in the Province, which are of significance for mankind as a whole, and, according to him, they ought to be carefully preserved.
Bishop Jovan pointed out that the Patriarchate of Pec as a symbol was a target of extremists throughout its history, as well as in March 1981, when a monastery refectory was burnt down. That took place before the tragic events in Yugoslavia.
In a long and cordial talk with Bishop Jovan of Lipljan, Admiral Stavridis emphasized a need for all to be directed to future, although the world we lived in was full of conflicts that happened before our eyes. Both Admiral and Bishop Jovan expressed a particular concern for events in Syria and the fate of local Christians.