2016-03-17 18:15:00

Patriarch Kirill believes that progress in Syrian settlement result of meeting with Pope Francis

Moscow, March 17, Interfax - Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia links the intensification of the peaceful settlement of the conflict in Syria to his recent meeting with Pope Francis in Havana.

"Pope Francis and I had an idea to meet to emphasize the tragedy of the Christian heritage of the Middle East. It seems to me that our joint voice was heard," the patriarch said during a meeting with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin in Moscow, on Thursday.

The patriarch hailed the progress in the relations between the U.S. and Russia relating to Syrian settlement.

"I believe it is very important that an agreement has been reached on the coordination of actions between the U.S.-led coalition and Russia. I believe this agreement could ward off the risk of a large-scale war that could happen due to various incidents," he said.

The patriarch said "a lot of risks always arise" when two big military forces are active together on a limited territory.

"It seems that these risks have now been warded off. I also welcome the recent decision by the U.S. Congress to recognize the killing of Christians as genocide against the Christian population," he said.