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Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia plans to visit Lebanon next year, Deputy head of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations Archpriest Nikolay Balashov told Interfax-Religion.

Patriarch Kirill met with Lebanese Prime Minster Saad Hariri earlier on Monday to discuss prospects of Middle East settlement and interreligious peace.

The Patriarch proposed that not only statesmen, but also religious figures be involved in the Middle East settlement. “Believers are deeply saddened by the fact that peace and justice have not triumphed yet in the Middle East. Efforts made by religious communities and the state are very important in tackling problems which continue fuelling the Middle East conflict,” Patriarch Kirill told Hariri.

More and more Russian pilgrims visit Lebanon. It was Russian pilgrims that “laid the groundwork for solid Russian-Lebanese relations,” he said. Russia’s Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society worked intensively in Lebanon, “supporting educational and medical projects for local residents,” he said.

There are 5,000 Russian Orthodox believers in Lebanon today, and some of them are descendants of well-known Russian families which gained prominence in pre-revolution Russia. There is also an Orthodox parish in Beirut and some of the Orthodox believers married Lebanese citizens, Patriarch Kirill said.

More and more Russian pilgrims visit Lebanon. It was Russian pilgrims that “laid the groundwork for solid Russian-Lebanese relations,” he said. Russia’s Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society worked intensively in Lebanon, “supporting educational and medical projects for local residents,” he said.

There are 5,000 Russian Orthodox believers in Lebanon today, and some of them are descendants of well-known Russian families which gained prominence in pre-revolution Russia. There is also an Orthodox parish in Beirut and some of the Orthodox believers married Lebanese citizens, Patriarch Kirill said.

Weapons for Lebanon army

Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri said at the end of his talks with Russian PM Vladimir Putin that Russia has decided to donate to the Lebanese army six helicopters model MI 24, thirty one tanks model T-72 , thirty six cannons 130 mm , about half a million munitions for various weapons and thirty thousand artillery shells for the 130 mm cannons.

Hariri , who is on an official 2 day visit to Russia is being accompanied by a high level ministerial delegation

Interfax

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