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Abbas Awarded Russian Orthodox Prize

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MOSCOW, January 21, 2012 (WAFA) – Russian Patriarch Kirill Saturday awarded President Mahmoud Abbas the Orthodox People’s Unity Foundation prize, also known as Patriarch Alexis II prize.

 

Abbas thanked Kirill for the prize, which he said is a proof of the close ties between Palestine and the people of Russia.

 

“For me, this prize is a motivation to continue on the path to spread the culture of peace and dialogue between religions and civilizations instead of the culture of hate and violence, and to support tolerance and accept the other instead of bigotry and denial of the other,” he said.

 

Abbas said that efforts to bring peace to the Middle East and to build the independent Palestinian state alongside Israel are continuing, but “these efforts are still facing Israeli government obstinacy.”

 

Kirill, on his part, praised Abbas for “safeguarding religious peace,” for upholding Russian-Palestinian friendship and for facilitating Russian pilgrimage to the Holy Land, saying he looks forward for the time the Palestinians will have their own independent state, according to the Russian news agency TASS.

 

Abbas decided to donate the money from the prize to support Palestinian students studying in Russian universities.

 

M.S.

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