The spiritual Orthodox schools of Russia and Antioch /Syria/ will resume cooperation.
Meeting in Moscow, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexis II and Patriarch of Antioch and All East Ignatios IV decided to resume cooperation. "There was a time when many Antiochian clergymen came to Russia to study," said Alexis II, who bestowed on Ignatios IV the highest award of the Russian Orthodox Church - an Order of St. Andrew the First-Called of the First Class - and praised "His Beatitude's contribution to the effort to strengthen the Orthodox unity and traditional links between two Orthodox Churches." The canonical territory of the Antiochian Church embraces a number of Arab countries including Syria and Iraq. The patriarch of Antioch pointed out that in Syria, Orthodox believers coexisted side by side with representatives of other beliefs. He also stressed the Orthodox Church was free of racism.