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The President of the Republic met Patriarch Aleksi

Left: Mrs Ingrid Rüütel, the President of the Republic and the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, Aleksi IIPresident Arnold Rüütel this evening at Kadriorg welcomed the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, Aleksi II.

Patriarch Aleksi II thanked the President for the opportunity to revisit the land of his birth. The President of the Republic thanked the Patriarch for his visit. He also thanked Patriarch Aleksi II for his great attention given to Estonia’s aspirations during the time of restoring its independence. President Rüütel highlighted the Patriarch's role in preserving the Christian way of thinking and safekeeping of church buildings in the Soviet time.

The Patriarch thanked the Estonian Head of State for his contribution to the registration of the Estonian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate. He added that it was essential to create equal chances for all churches regarding their property too.

Both sides emphasized the importance of goodwill in resolving complicated issues.

Patriarch Aleksi II expressed his desire that Estonia had good relations to the Orthodox world in the fields of both trade and culture and religion. President Rüütel assured that the Estonian society was open and continuously ready to expand also the named contacts.

At the beginning of the meeting, the Patriarch placed an entry in the visitors’ book, and gifts and decorations were exchanged. The President of the Republic conferred on the Patriarch on the occasion of his visit the 1st Class Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana, and Patriarch Aleksi presented President Rüütel with the 1st Class Order of Saint Sergius of Radonezh.

After the meeting, the President of the Republic and Mrs Ingrid Rüütel hosted a dinner in honour of Aleksi II.

Office of the President
Kadriorg, September 29, 2003

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