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Patriarch Kirill hopes visit by Ilia II to Moscow will strengthen Georgian-Russian relations

January, 25
Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia expects the visit by Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia II of All Georgia to Moscow to promote the development of Russian-Georgian relations.

"This visit will promote the development of bilateral relations between our countries and peoples," Patriarch Kirill said on Monday while meeting with Ilia II in his residence in the St. Daniel's Monastery in Moscow.

Patriarch Kirill said the Georgian Orthodox Church is a "brotherly and friendly" Church and the Moscow Patriarchate is in "spiritual canonical unity supported by brotherly cooperation and interaction throughout many years of our history."

Patriarch Krill called Ilia II the spiritual leader of the people of Georgia, who did a lot "in the difficult years of development of the Georgian state as an independent state."

"We know your role in the strengthening and regeneration of Orthodox faith in Georgia and we know your peacekeeping role in the preservation of peace, mutual understanding, and cooperation between people of various political views in Georgian society," Patriarch Kirill said.

Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia II is optimistic about the prospects of Russian-Georgian relations.

"I think this visit will promote mutual understanding and the strengthening of brotherly relations between our peoples and the problems that exist between our countries will be resolved positively," Ilia II said during a meeting with Patriarch Kirill.

Ilia II said the Church has done everything to keep good relations between the two peoples.

"The brotherly relations between our Churches were the only connection between our states and peoples. Thank God, times change and we change with them," the Patriarch said.

Ilia II arrived in Moscow on Sunday. On Monday, he will be given an award of the Foundation for Unity of Orthodox Peoples at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior.


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