On 27 April 2015, representatives of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations (DECR) met with press counselors of the Embassies of Arab states in Moscow.
Taking part in the meeting were Revd. Dimitry Safonov, head of the section for interreligious contacts; Revd. Iliya Kosykh, head of the communication service; deacon Feodor Shulga of the secretariat for inter-Orthodox relations; and Ms. Olga Mazur of the secretariat for far-abroad countries.
Diplomatic missions of the Arab countries in the Russian Federation were represented by Mr. Aiman Musa, head of press office of the Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt; Mr. Mohamed Mogali, press counsellor of the Embassy of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria; Mr. Nawras Abdel Rahman Ali Jankhout, consul and third secretary of the Embassy of the Kingdom of Jordan; Mr. Hassan Yousif M.A. Alhaydas, second secretary of the Embassy of the State of Qatar; and Mr. Ahmed Megali of the Mission of League of Arab States in Moscow. The Arab Information Office was set up in Russia lately, which will coordinate the work of press offices of the Embassies of a number of Arab countries. The visit of the Office’s representatives to the DECR was its first initiative.
Revd. Dimitry Safonov welcomed the guests, noted that the Arab world was a priority in the DECR activities and told them about the presence of the Church in Arab states and cooperation of the Church with traditional religions and with the governmental and public institutions of these countries. He underscored that the Moscow Patriarchate paid special attention to the situation in which Christians in the Middle East find themselves and was monitoring cases of persecution and discrimination against Christians. He added that the Russian Orthodox Church was open to cooperation with all in the Middle East for the sake of peace and justice.
Revd. Iliya Kosykh told the guests about information support of the DECR work regarding the Middle East problems.
Deacon Feodor Shulga presented a review of common actions of the Russian Orthodox Church with the Churches of Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem ministering in the countries of the Middle East and North Africa.
Mr. Aiman Musa expressed gratitude on behalf of all the guests for the meeting and hope for active cooperation between the sides in the field of information.