Archbishop Janullatos has praised the act of President Ilir Meta, who gave him Albanian citizenship.

In his speech, during the Blood of Christ ritual, Janullatos said that the granting of  citizenship is joyous news for Orthodox believers, comparing the decision with old wine.

"I want to let you know that yesterday, the Director of the Cabinet of President Meta, Arben Cici, gave me a letter from the President where I got informed that I was given Albanian citizenship.

"I wish to express my joy for this act and my thanks to the President.

"This decision represent a symbol of joys to thousands of Orthodox believers throughout the country, who expected to receive this news many years ago.

"I conclude my word by saying that some things, such as wine, only grow greater in value as time passes.

"The President politely described my experience of 25 years in the letter, which only adds importance to the decision he has taken." said Janullatos.

Meanwhile, in his wishes on Christmas, President Meta said that the decision to give citizenship to the Archbishop is linked to his contribution over the last 2 and half decades.

"This is related to his work and I agree with him when he said that just as wine becomes more valuable the older it gets, over the many years to come from today, his work in the modernization of the Orthodox Church of Albania, will become more valuable.

"Especially in his investment in the religious harmony and co-existence amongst all Albanians." said Ilir Meta.

Anasatas Janullatos has long wanted to gain Albanian citizenship, but has not successfully received it from any of President Meta's predecessors.

Janullatos has been leading the Orthodox Church for 25 years.

Meanwhile, a few days ago in an interview for the media in Greece, the archbishop said his successor will be Albanian.