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MOSCOW, November 9. /TASS/. Patriarch Moran Mor Ignatius Aphrem II of Antioch and All the East has called on the United States and other world powers to stop financing terrorist organizations forcing Syrians to flee the armed conflict and move to Europe.
"We ask the United States and other nations to stop financing terrorist and extremist groups. Consolidated effort is needed to bring the situation back to normal. We urge all parties to make efforts for a peaceful resolution of the crisis," the patriarch told a news conference in Moscow on Monday, the first day of his visit to the Russian capital, which will last until November 13.
He pointed to the "big role of external forces that foment the crisis, so we ask to stop financing those who direct their weapons against the Syrian people."
"Yes, we realize that Syria needs reforms, a system that will benefit all people, but at this price, the price of the destruction of Syria and its people," said Patriarch Ignatius Aphrem II who is also the primate of the Jacobite Syrian Christian Church.
According to the patriarch, the beginning of the Russian military operation in Syria will give the Syrian people the hope for the end of the five-year war. "We believe that Russia’s involvement in the military operation in Syria will bring hope to the entire Syrian people as we believe that Russia’s role in Syria is the role of the peacekeepers, and the ultimate goal of all Russia’s efforts in the region is the restoration of peace for the entire people," he said.Patriarch Ignatius Aphrem II said he hoped that "as a result of these efforts, the parties to the conflict would be able to sit down at the negotiating table and find ways of the peaceful settlement of the crisis."
The patriarch noted that five years ago, before the war broke out, "Syria was a country where different ethnic groups coexisted peacefully."
While in Moscow, Patriarch Ignatius Aphrem II is to meet with Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and chairman of the State Duma International Affairs Committee Alexey Pushkov.
The Jacobite Syrian Christian Church is one of the oldest Christian churches in the Middle East. The bulk of the communities is located in Syria and Iraq, where the persecution of Christians has sharply aggravated in recent years.