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    Vatican Diplomacy: Pope's Envoy Praises Russia's Role in Aleppo Liberation

    © Sputnik / Vladimir Astapkovych
    Middle East
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    A representative of Pope Francis in Aleppo welcomed Russia's military involvement in Syria, saying that the humanitarian situation in the country significantly improved due to Moscow's assistance, DWN wrote.

    According to Bishop Georges Abou Khazen, the local population supports Russian military activities, as liberated parts of the city have finally received electricity and water.

    "With Russia's support, the Syrian army went on the offensive and liberated parts of the city again have water and electricity. The schools are being reopened," the cleric said.

    According to him, there are signs of reconciliation between various groups in the country. The Russian operation strengthened the Syrian Army and contributed to the improvement of the situation in general, Khazen said.

    Residents push a cart near al-Shaar bridge in Aleppo's al-Shaar neighborhood, Syria, January 19, 2016. Picture taken January 19, 2016
    © REUTERS / Abdelrahmin Ismail
    Earlier, Pope Francis met with the Russian Orthodox patriarch Kirill in Havana, Cuba. Both clerics signed a joint declaration in which they called on all sides to stop the expulsion and persecution of Christians in Syria.

    The meeting marked a "big step forward" in Catholic-Orthodox ties as it was the first time when leaders of the Catholic and the Russian Orthodox Church had directly talked to each other in almost a millennia.

    After the meeting, Pope Francis became subject to criticism from US-neocons who blamed the cleric for his "naivety" and said he was influenced by Russian propaganda, the newspaper wrote.

    The Syrian Army managed to achieve significant success in the fight against terrorists, destroying several key supply routes of terrorists in an area of Aleppo province. In particular, the Syrian Army and the National Defense Forces (NDF) have managed to cut off several main supply lines of al-Nusra Front militants in the town of Mayer located between the city of Aleppo and the country's border with Turkey.

    Germa media earlier noted that after the Syrian troops backed by Russian forces regain full control over the western regions of Syria, the anti-terrorist operation can be continued in the eastern regions of the country.


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