Lavrov: everything should be done to prevent inter-religious schism in the middle East


MOSCOW, November 11. Everything must be done to prevent inter-religious and inter-civilizational strife in the middle East. This was stated by Russian foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the meeting with the Patriarch of Antioch and all the East, Primate of the Syriac Orthodox Church Mar Ignatius Ephrem II.

“Invariably attach great importance to close contacts with representatives of different faiths in the middle East, given the need to do everything to prevent inter-religious, inter-civilizational strife in this key area of the world,” he said.

Lavrov also said that Russia will continue to actively defend the initiative in bringing attention to the problems of Christians in the middle East. “Russia was among the initiators of this March in Geneva on the sidelines of the meeting of the Council for human rights of the special event to draw attention to the plight of Christians emerging from the outcome of their region, – the Minister reminded. – This line, and the initiative we will actively defend and promote in international organizations”.

“The middle East is the cradle of Christianity, Christians have lived there for two thousand years, – said Lavrov. – You need to make the civilizational fabric of this region have survived and not been broken”.

According to Lavrov, the common task for the global community – to increase the efficiency of the fight against terrorism with a parallel launch of efforts for a political settlement in the Middle East.

“The situation in the region is deeply troubling, severely affected native Syria, said the Minister. – But no less complex problems arise in Libya, Iraq, Yemen, other parts of the middle East region. There there is a serious risk that terrorists can strengthen their position”.

“From the cruelty and atrocities by ISIL (the former name is forbidden in the Russian Federation the terrorist group “Islamic state” – approx.TASS), “dzhebhat EN-Nusra” and other terrorist groups affects all faiths, all ethnicities, – said Lavrov. – We, of course, particularly close to and care about the fate of Christians in the middle East”.

“Common to all inhabitants of the region and the world community’s task is to improve the efficiency in the fight against terrorists when you start parallel efforts for a political settlement of problems in Syria, in Libya, in Yemen and in other countries in the region”, – said the head of Russian diplomacy.

“On all these issues is very important for us first hand to learn your assessment and vision can develop the situation, and the steps that would prevent its collapse”, – he addressed to the head of the Syriac Orthodox Church.