Moscow, November 11, Interfax - The only way to prevent an exodus of Christians in the Middle East is through a unified anti-terrorist coalition, Metropolitan Hilarion, head of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, said.
"Conquering terrorism requires, firstly, different approaches, and, secondly, a unified anti-terrorist coalition. Our Holy Patriarch keeps talking about that. Not several coalitions that will fight each other, but a unified coalition, which will conquer terrorism as a united front," he said on the program The Church and the World on Rossiya-24 television (VGTRK).
In this regard, he mentioned his recent meeting with British Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Joyce Anelay, where he asked her how she sees settlement in Syria, to which the diplomat responded that it is necessary to get Bashar al-Assad to leave and create a democratic government.
The Foreign Office official also asked Metropolitan Hilarion how he sees the solution to the Syrian crisis.
"You know, the government that you have now described, of course, sounds inspiring, but it's only an imaginary government. There is no such thing in Syria now. And we are getting totally different signals when the religious leaders of this country come to us [...] - they all say they don't see any different force capable of preventing [the country] from falling into an abyss. Secondly, they don't see anyone except for al-Assad who could keep all these things [from collapsing]," Metropolitan Hilarion said.
In closing, the metropolitan suggested that the Foreign Office official look at what happened in Iraq and Libya, where the scenario that the Western countries are now offering for Syria was implemented.
"The leaders of those countries were declared dictators, and they were overthrown using an external power. And what? Did the government that, as you say, 'maintains the balance' come to power then? Nothing like that. Chaos came to those countries," Metropolitan Hilarion said.