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Syria's Christians grateful to Russia for support in fight against terrorism — patriarch

Syria's Christians are grateful to the Russians for their support in the fight against terrorism and in political settlement of the crisis, the Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and all the East, Mor Ignatius Aphrem II said on Wednesday at a meeting with Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

"All of us, Syria's Christians and Muslims, are grateful to the Russians as you have stand up to help us battle terrorism so that peace can get back to our homes," His Holiness Mor Ignatius Aphrem II said. "We know that Russia can help us find a political solution to the crisis, involving all those who are determined to revive Syria and to work with Syria's legitimate government. We need a united country with a united government."

Also, the patriarch offered his condolences over "the loss of 224 lives" in the recent Russian plane crash in Egypt.

Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov pledged that Russia would step up efforts in focusing attention on concerns of Christians in the Middle East.

"The Middle East is a cradle of Christianity," he said. "Christians have been living there for 2,000 years. It should be done so that the civilizational tissue of that region would be preserved and would not be breached."

[Source: Itar Tass, Moscow, 11Nov15]

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