The first time the Oriental Orthodox Churches met together after 451 was in 1965 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. This Conference of the Oriental Orthodox Churches was summoned by His Imeperiel Majesty Haile Selassie I, the last Oriental Orthodox Emperor of Ethiopia. The Coference was attended by:
H.H Pope Kyrillos VI of Alexandria (Pope of Alexandria)
H.H Moran Mor Ignatious Yakub III (Patriarch of Antioch and all the East)
H.H Vazgen I (Armenian Catholicose)
H.H Khoren I (Armenian Catholicose of Cilicia)
H.H Moran Mor Baselious Augen I (Catholcose of the East; India)
H.H Abuna Baselios (Ethiopia)
H.I.M Haile Selassie I opened the conference and two of the heads, H.H Yakub III of Syriac Church and H.H Vasken of the Aremnian Church spoke immediately after the Emperor, thanking the Emperor. H.H Kyrillos was not present at the inauguration. He came in a day late.
The following is from the speech of H.H Ignatious Yakub III, Patriarch of Antioch at the conference.
Your Imperial Majesty, Holy Fathers and Brothers beloved clergy and people.
It is with deep sense of gratitude to Almighty God that we stand here on this occasion, and the joy which we feel in the depths of our hearts is beyond words to describe. Your Majesty has offered us a memorable opportunity to meet in your beautiful capital. While listening to the speech of your Majesty, we are reminded of the episode at the Council of Nicea in 325, when following the inaugural oration of Emperor Constantine, St. Eustathius of Antioch delivered an address praising the Emperor. Although we consider ourselves unworthy to take the place of that illustrious soul, as a successor of his on the holy see of the Apostle Peter we deep it our most pleasant privilege to speak these few words following your Majesty. In calling this historic Conference, your Majesty has shown yourself a worthy successor of the faithful Emperors in Christian history who have served the cause of the Church in their respective generations. While thanking your Majesty for convening this Conference, may we express our most sincere gratitude to the government and people of Ethiopia as well as to the Ethiopia Orthodox Church.
As the meeting of Heads and leaders of our sister Orthodox Churches of the East, this Conference is a great event for our Churches. Through we have a common heritage of Orthodox faith, our Churches have not had an opportunity of meeting together in this way for many long centuries. But now God has, through his servant Haile Sellassie I, the Lion of Juda and the glorious Emperor of Ethiopia, made it possible for us to come together. In fact, from the time when our humble self was elevated to the holy see of the Apostle peter, we have been praying God to open the way for a meeting of our Churches, and when two of our brother Metropolitans visited Ethiopia soon after our installation, we had sent through them an appeal to your Majesty urging you to convene it. Now your Majesty has, out of your own gracious decision, called this Conference and we of the Syrian Orthodox Church all over the world rejoices in it.
It is fitting on this occasion for me to say that as the ruler of Ethiopia your Majesty is a person whom we hold in the highest esteem. We remember you always in the celebration of our Liturgy. In so doing, we follow the worthy instruction of our distinguished Fathers like Mar Dionysius Bar Salibi in the twelfth. They have enjoined on us that we should remember the kings of Ethiopia in our Eucharistic Service, as they share the same faith with us. Even our Churches have very close relationship with each other at least from the forth century. So we have record that St. Frumentius who was the first Archbishop of Ethiopia had come from Tyre within the province of our see. Mar Jacob Baradaeus in the sixth century visited Ethiopia, and that about the same time the Nine Saints settled down in this country leaving their home in Syria. We are indeed happy that we are able to visit this great land, its Church and people.
Our Churches have indeed inherited the Orthodox faith from our Fathers. But we have not always manifested its meaning through the redeeming powers of divine love to a world which is hungry for it. That is one reason why our Churches have not been able to make the Gospel of Christ more real to our non-Christian neighbors. Through this conference we shall not only strengthen the bond of unity which exists among us, but shall also seek to reexamine the ways in which our true faith should transform our people. Besides, we shall agree together on practical programs of common action to make our Christian witness more effective in the world. With these concerns in mind, we pray that Almighty God may so order our deliberations that our Conference may give a new start to our ancient Churches.
To you Imperial Majesty and to the people of Ethiopia, especially to our brethren in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, we and our Bishops bring the warmest regards of the Syrian Orthodox Church all over the world. We have with us in this conference our exalted Brother, Mar Baselios Augen I, the Catholicos of the East, leading a delegation of his ancient Church in India. It gives us great joy to see that in spite of his old age our beloved brother has journeyed from far-off India to Ethiopia to take part in this Conference. May we convey to Your Majesty, the church and people of Ethiopia the warmest greetings also of the Syrian Orthodox Church of India.