20 November 2019, 21:09
Putin stresses importance of joint efforts to protect Christians in Middle East
Moscow, November 20, Interfax - Russian President Vladimir Putin has reaffirmed his plans to visit Israel in mid-January and said that he wants to protect further the interests of the Christians in the Middle East jointly with the Russian Orthodox Church and other local Churches.
On Wednesday, Putin met with Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia and Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem and All Palestine who arrived to Moscow to receive the Patriarch Alexy II Award. The meeting took place at the Patriarch's Chambers of the Moscow Kremlin.
"I realize in what a complicated situation the Christians in the Middle East, that is, in their cradle, ended up," Putin said at the meeting. "We need to unite efforts here in order to protect their interests. Any dissociation causes a severe damage to the Christian world in general and to the Christians in the Middle East in particular," the Russian president said.
"Of course, we should do that jointly with representatives of other confessions and, above all, this concerns the Middle East, namely, our brothers and sisters among representatives of the Islam," Putin said.
"We are maintaining very close contacts with them and are actually working jointly very efficiently, resolving our common tasks to protect our common traditional values," Putin said.
The Russian president said that next year, in mid-January, he will visit Israel "both on the occasion of the Day of Remembrance of the Victims of the Holocaust and on the occasion of unveiling a new monument dedicated to the victims sustained by the peoples of our country during the Second World War, and, in this case, to the victims of the siege of Leningrad."
"I think that the interaction with Israel is also of serious significance," Putin added. "And, we, thanks God, have established very good relations with the Israeli leadership and with representatives of the Jews in the Russian Federation who are in a certain sense a bridge in our interstate relations," the president said.