Article from the Azeri-Press Agency
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday that Russia was seriously concerned with the fate of minorities, especially Orthodox communities in Syria and other regional states, APA reports quoting Russian media.
“We are witnessing a mass exodus of Christians from the region who have been an integral part of the Middle East mosaic for centuries,” Lavrov said at the presentation of a book titled “The Patriarchates of Antioch and Jerusalem in the Policy of the Russian Empire” by Mikhail Yakushev, the first vice-president of the St. Andrew the First Called Foundation, on Tuesday. “Today, the Middle East is a top international priority,” Lavrov said.
“I believe that a wave of upheavals in the Arab world affects not only the interests of the region’s states but also of all leading international players. It can have far-reaching consequences, including in the context of inter-cultural and inter-religious relations,” Lavrov went on to say.
“Russia pursues a consistent policy aimed at transformation through evolution with account taken of historical and cultural peculiarities of people residing in this region,” the Russian foreign minister stressed.
“Efforts to reach a political settlement of various situations in compliance with international law without outside interference through recognition and respect of all ethnic groups and confessions are a vital element of our position,” Lavrov said.
“Naturally, we staunchly come out against any manifestations of extremism which threatens to undermine the basis of subsistence of this multi-confessional region,” Lavrov stressed. Original article here