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On 24 May 2017 Mr. Sergei Lavrov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation presented Metropolitan Niphon of Philipopolis with an honorary award of the Ministry.

2017 marks the 40th anniversary of Metropolitan Niphon’s service as representative of the Patriarch of Antioch and All the East to the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia.

The hierarch of the Church of Antioch was awarded with ‘The decoration for the contribution to international cooperation’ in consideration of his ‘substantial contribution to the development of traditionally friendly Russian-Arab relations’ upon the recommendation of the chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations.

Metropolitan Niphon wished the staff of the Russian Foreign Ministry and the Minister fortitude, wisdom, patience and success in the work done for the glory of their country and said: “I am deeply moved by high appreciation of my decades-long ministry to the Russian people. I have learned many church and diplomatic lessons here. You, Russian diplomats, have taught me to uphold principled positions and respect opinion of other people. I have always admired your service to the Motherland and your patriotism.”