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Developments around Syria may trigger global conflict, fears Patriarch Kirill

February 17, 2016, 8:18 UTC+3 ASUNCION

Syria and all that is going on around Syria should not be the site of potential conflict between the West and the East," the head of the Russian Orthodox Church has said

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ASUNCION, February 17. /TASS/. Terrorist activity in Syria and the emergence of different coalitions to fight terrorism may trigger a new global conflict between the West and the East, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill said at meeting with President of Paraguay Horacio Cartes Jara, saying this was also in the focus of attention at his historic talks with Pope Francis on Februry 12.

"Syria and all that is going on around Syria should not be the site of potential conflict between the West and the East. Seeds of a new dangerous global conflict must not grow ripe there," the patriarch said.

He also warned against "different coalitions pursuing different aims," saying "all interested in conquering terrorism forces should act together and coordinately, pursuing the aim they openly declare".

"Pursuing aims that are not declared is dangerous for the whole world," Patriarch Kirill said.

He said "terrorists are indiscriminate in their targets, ready to destroy anyone who differs from them". "And we know that they don’t confine themselves to the theater of war in Syria and Iraq - they blast a Russian plane killing 240 people, innocent people, they kill innocent people in Paris," said the patriarch, noting that the list of tragedies could be continued.

"It is impossible to remain silent any longer - we need to speak jointly, and I think our joint [with Pope Francis] voice was rather loud for people to realize that genocide against Christianity takes place in these countries, Christians are destroyed and expelled from the places where Christianity was born," he said.

"This is a common mischief for the whole human family, and that is why the response to this challenge must be coordinated and joint," he said.

The first meeting between a Pope and a Russian Church head in the nearly 1,000 years since the Western and Eastern branches of Christianity split was held on February 12 at the airport of Havana.

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