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Christians and scientists invited Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia to
visit the Middle Eastern country, Chief Mufti of Moscow and Central Russia
Albir Krganov said Monday.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Krganov visited Syria as part of a Muslim delegation in late
December and early January at the invitation of the Syrian Ministry of
Religious Endowments (waqf).
"Syrian scientists and their waqf minister said they wished an invitation
to visit Syria to be passed on to his holiness the Patriarch. Syrian Christians
would be very happy if such a visit took place," Krganov told RIA Novosti.
The Russian delegation, which also included the chief mufti of the Tatarstan
republic Kamil Samigullin, had visited four Syrian universities as well as
cities liberated from terrorists, he added, noting that methods of countering
extremist teaching were discussed during the visit.
"We visited the town of Ma'loula, where they still speak the language of
Jesus Christ [Aramaic], and there are ancient monasteries. We went to Tartus
and Jableh. Our discussions touched upon issues of improving our relations and
countering pseudo-religious extremist currents," Krganov said.
The Russian Orthodox Church has so far not commented on the invitation.
Patriarch Kirill visited Syria once before in 2011. Syria has gone through
almost six years of civil war between the government, numerous opposition
factions and terrorist groups. Russia became involved in the conflict and its
settlement after the Syrian government asked for military assistance in September