02 September 2014, 10:01
Russian school in Bethlehem to strengthen Russian-Palestinian ties - Putin
Moscow, September 2, Interfax - Russian President Vladimir Putin said the Russian school that has opened in Bethlehem will strengthen humanitarian ties between Russia and Palestine.
"The opening of the Russian school will contribute considerably to the strengthening of the humanitarian ties between our countries. Palestinian students studying in it will be able to considerably expand their scope and become familiar with the great achievements of the rich Russian culture," Putin said in his address to the participants of the school opening ceremony posted on the Kremlin website.
The president said he is confident that many of the school's students will want to continue their education in Russia after leaving. "I wish the people of Bethlehem and the school success in their studies," Putin said.
In his address, Putin said that the school was built with assistance from Russia and with active support from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. "Relations between our people have a long history, in which Bethlehem has a special role. Russia has always valued the hospitality Russian pilgrims have enjoyed here,"
In the 19th and 20th centuries, the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society in the Holy Land built dozens of schools and hospitals. Thousands of Palestinians were later able to receive free higher education in the USSR.
"Now, Russia provides over 100 stipends to Palestinian students studying in Russian universities. The independent state of Palestine, which the Russian Federation always supports, needs their knowledge very much," the Russian president said.
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