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Russia worried over attempts to add religious backing to Syrian conflict

November 19, 2013, 18:39 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Lavrov: there are a lot of those who seek to split the Shiites and the Sunnis; these people take colossal responsibility for undermining the pillars which bear the world religion
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© EPA/SANDRO CAMPARDO

MOSCOW, November 19, /ITAR-TASS/. Russia is worried over attempts to add religious backing to the Syrian conflict, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday at a meeting with a delegation of the Syrian government.

“Both in Syria and in neighboring countries, and in Iraq, there are a lot of those who seek to split the Shiites and the Sunnis,” he said. “These people take colossal responsibility for undermining the pillars which bear the world religion.”

According to the Russian foreign minister, their actions are most damaging to religious minorities. “We are very much worried over attacks on the Christina shrines in Syria,” he stressed.

In turn, Faisal Mekdad, the head of the Syrian governmental delegation and First Deputy Foreign Minister of that country, noted that a key goal of terrorists in his country was to split various strata of Syrian society. But, he stressed, the Syrians had never discriminated between each other on the grounds of religion.

“Ask any Syrian citizen, how many Christians there are in the country, and you will hear - the entire population. Ask him, how many Muslims there are, and you will hear the same answer - the entire population,” he said.

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