On 9 December 2015, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations (DECR), met with a delegation of the Coptic Church in the parish house of the Church of “Joy to All the Afflicted” icon of the Mother of God.

The delegation, which has arrived in Moscow with the blessing of Patriarch Tawadros II of the Coptic Church to take part in the commemoration of the victims of the terrorist act – the blowup of the Russian Airbus A321 over Sinai, includes Bishop Raphael of Central Cairo, Secretary General of the Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church; Bishop Hilarion of Ezbet El Haganah; and Bishop Tadrous of Port Said. The guests were accompanied by H.E. Dr. Mohamed Elbadri, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Arab Republic of Egypt to the Russian Federation; Mr. Mohamed Raafap, second secretary of the Embassy; and hieromonk Thomas Ava Mina, representative of the Coptic Church in Moscow. Attending the audience were hieromonk Roman (Kiselev) and Sergei Alferov, DECR staff members.

Metropolitan Hilarion expressed cordial gratitude to the people of Egypt for condolences and solidarity with the near and dear of the victims.

The DECR chairman asked the guests to convey greetings and best wishes from His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia to Patriarch Tawadros and expressed his hope for the development of cooperation between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Coptic Church within the Bilateral Commission for dialogue.