11/18/2016, 09.12
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Moscow Patriarchate: Americans voted for change with Trump

by Nina Achmatova

Metropolitan Hilarion, head of Russian Orthodox Church diplomacy, expresses "hope" for improvement in international relations with the new US president. "Short-sighted and misguided" US policy in the Middle East. The congratulations from Kirill. Cooperation against extremism and terrorism.


Moscow (AsiaNews) – In voting Donald Trump as their next president, the American people have made a choice "for change”, according to the head of the External Relations Department of the Moscow Patriarchate, Metropolitan Hilarion.  Speaking in an interview with Interfax he reflected on the result of the elections in the United States, where the campaign was characterized by a strong Russian presence, accused of interfering in a different way, in the appointment at the polls.

Hilarion stressed that "the presidential elections are a domestic affair of the USA ", but revealed he had followed the Election Day in the US media such as CNN, "with great interest", where "the commentators were shocked and tried to find an explanation "to the fact that the victory of the Republican candidate over Hillary Clinton was materializing.

"Someone blamed the FBI director, others said that the culprit was Russia," said the Metropolitan, referring to allegations by several parties that Moscow hired hackers to discredit Clinton and her party.

But according to the head of the Russian Patriarchate diplomacy, the most important aspect of this election is "the Middle East question." " American policy in the Middle East, starting from the overthrow of Saddam Hussein and to the recent events in Syria, was, in my view, shortsighted and wrong. Overthrowing the regimes that existed in the Middle Eastern countries one after another, allegedly in the name of democracy, America did not lead the region to democracy or prosperity. On the contrary, it provoked chaos, mass exodus of civilians, genocide of ethnic and religious minorities. Terrorists from the so-called "Islamic State"  would not be so successful in Syria and Iraq if they did not get international support".

According to the Metropolitan, "Trump spoke about all these things directly and clearly. He criticized the American government for his Middle Eastern policy, for giving up alliance relations with Russia. And the people of America heard him".

Despite overtures to Moscow expressed - so far in words - by the president elect, Hilarion called for "not to fall into euphoria". " Time will show what kind of president he will be, whether he will fulfill the promises that he gave during the election campaign. But his election gives hope for improvement of the entire system of international relations, for the creation of a unified global coalition against terrorism".

Immediately after the victory of Trump, Patriarch of Moscow Kirill, sent his congratulations to the newly elected Head of State. "The world - Kirill writes in his message - is facing serious challenges today, and the United States of America have an important role to play in responding to them. It is only through the concerted efforts that people can oppose extremism and terrorism and defend the fundamental values of the lofty moral ideals, upon which the human rights and dignity are based".

Donald Trump is a Christian Presbyterian. In his staff that took him to victory, included several Protestant and Orthodox Christians (see photo)

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