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Russia's Orthodox Patriarch To Meet Syrian Leader

Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church
The head of Russia's Orthodox Church will travel to Damascus this weekend for meetings that include talks with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The Church released a statement on November 11, saying that Patriarch Kirill will meet Assad on November 13 during his trip, which will also include talks on November 14 with Lebanese President Michel Suleiman in Beirut.

The Church did not explicitly link the trip to the ongoing violence in Syria, but a spokesman for the patriarch, Igor Yakimchuk, said Kirill was travelling in a peacemaking role.

compiled from agency reports