Lavrov to Patriarch Yazigi: Foreign Powers' Adventures Planted Terrorism in the Region

MOSCOW, (ST)-Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has stressed that foreign interventionist policies in the Middle East have led to chaos in the region and created a suitable environment for the terrorists' activities.

During his meeting on Tuesday with Patriarch John X Yazigi of Antioch and All East for The Greek Orthodox in Moscow, Lavrov said that the adventures being made by foreign players in the Middle East in some countries have caused chaos in this region where diverse communities live peacefully.

He reiterated that Russia is keen on the stability of the Middle East and it has actively participated in the efforts aiming to confront these adventures and short-sighted policies.

 Successive US administrations interfered militarily in a number of countries like Afghanistan and Iraq. The current

US administration is leading an illegal coalition purportedly to fight Daesh terrorist organization and it is using this coalition to support and protect the terrorists in Syria.

On his part, Patriarch John X Yazigi thanked Russia and hailed its anti-terrorism efforts in Syria thanks to which terrorism and extremism were almost brought to an end in the country.

 He highly appreciated the Russian efforts to find a political solution to the crisis in Syria through enhancing talks in Astana and Geneva and holding the Syrian National Dialogue Congress due in Sochi.

Patriarch Kirill vows Russian Orthodox Church will continue to render assistance to Syria

In the same context,  Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia said at a meeting with Patriarch Yazigi on Tuesday that the Russian Orthodox Church will continue to provide assistance to Syria, with fundraising campaigns being organized in churches.

"Now that practically the entire Syrian territory has been freed from terrorists, including the areas with the Christian population, the issue of providing assistance to people who need to return to their homes, creating jobs and bringing their lives back to normal comes to the fore," Patriarch Kirill noted, according to Itar Tass.

"Funds are being raised in our churches, and people respond, bring their money," he said. The patriarch noted that the Russian Orthodox Church cooperates closely with the government agencies and non-governmental organizations to deliver and distribute humanitarian aid.

"We plan to render assistance to the Al-Hosn patriarchal hospital in the Homs province. We got in touch with the Defense Ministry and have already received a reply that measures would be taken to ensure the joint support for the hospital within the next six months," the patriarch said. He recalled that two tonnes of medical equipment had been delivered to Al-Hosn in May. The patriarch also noted that the Russian Church had organized the delivery of humanitarian aid to low-income families and Sunday school students in Maaloula, Latakia and other cities.

Terrorists Destroyed over 120 Churches in Syria: Patriarch John X Yazigi

In a statement to reporters, Patriarch of Antioch John X Yazigi said that more than 120 churches were destroyed in Syria during terrorist activities.

"Terrorists destroyed more than 120 churches… Nevertheless, we now have hope that the destroyed schools, hospitals, churches, monasteries, mosques and other buildings will be restored," the Patriarch said.

"It was very important to eliminate terrorism, which poses a threat not only to Syria but also to the entire world. Today, almost all of the Syrian territory has been liberated, including areas where Christians lived," John X added.

Hamda Mustafa