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On 29 August 2011, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations (DECR), met with the president of the Palestinian National Authority Mr. Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah.

In a cordial friendly talk they discussed cooperation of the Russian Orthodox Church with the Palestinian National Authority, the situation in the Middle East, and the situation of Christians in the region.

They were joined in the talk by archpriest Nikolai Balashov, DECR deputy chairman Mr. M. Litvinov, acting representative of the Russian Federation to the Palestinian National Authority; Mr. Hussein al-Araj, head of Mr. Abbas’ cabinet; archimandrite Isidor (Minayev), head of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission; and hierodeacon Ioann (Kopeikin), assistant to the DECR chairman.

That same day, Metropolitan Hilarion visited the Representation of the Russian Federation to the Palestinian National Authority and had a talk with Mr. Litvinov.