I have just watched the visit of H.H. the Pope of Rome to Syria in
NBC. Here are some extracts -- from my memory -- that pertain to the
Syriac Orthodox Church.
At the airport, the Roman Pontiff, John Paul II, gave a speech in
which he mentioned the importance of the region in early
Christianity, mentioning St. Ephrem from the Syriac tradition. Later,
in his visit to the Orthodox (Antioch) Patriarchate, where all the
patriarchs were present, including H.H. Mar Ignatius Zakka I, the
Pope called for the unity of the Church. During his address, he
addressed directly H.H. Mor Ignatius Zakka recalling the Patriarch's
visit to Rome in 1984 and the agreement that was signed between the
two hierarchs. He commended the Patriarch for his work in the
ecumenical movement. He urged the Syriac Orthodox and Syriac Catholic
church to work towards closer relations, and said that the Catholic
Church has very good relation with the Malankara Church that is under
the jurisdiction of Patriarch Zakka.
The Roman Pope will be visiting the Syriac Orthodox Patriarchate
later on, I believe on Monday.