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Fares Receives the International Orthodox Unity Fund Prize - January 21, 2002
Deputy Prime Minister Issam Fares& Mrs. Hala Fares flew to Moscow upon the invitation of H.B. the Patriarch of Moscow& All Russia Alexy II to receive the ‘International Orthodox Unity Fund Prize’. They headed to the Lebanese Embassy where Lebanon’s Ambassador to Russia Butros Asaker organized a reception in the presence of scores of high-level personalities.

His Excellency Mr. Fares was awarded ‘The International Orthodox Unity Fund Prize’ during a remarkable ceremony held at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in the Russian Capital of Moscow, among five international personalities selected for their great contribution in promoting the spiritual and cultural unity among populations. Apart of Mr. Fares, the five other international personalities who have been chosen for their great contribution in reinforcing the spiritual and cultural unity among peoples are Russian President Mr. Vladimir Putin, Serbian Patriarch Pavel, the head of the Armenian National Assembly Armen Khatcharian, and the European-Orthodox Parliamentary Association.

Hala Fares attends the ceremony to award Fares the "International Orthodox Unity Fund Prize"

Patriarch Alexy II handed the prize to the winners. Then, Mr. Fares was introduced as a man whose contributions and relentless efforts in Lebanon and on the international level have helped raise hope in world peace.

Patriarch Alexy to Fares:  'Your contributions have helped raise hope in world peace'

Fares: 'This Prize comes from Russia, the conscience of universal spiritual value'
Upon receiving the prize, the Deputy Premier delivered the following speech:
‘A prize from His Holiness Patriarch Alexy II carries with it great meaning and deep spiritual implications. It is so because it is granted by the historic Patriarch who has rekindled the flame of orthodoxy when it faced the most complicated period; because it comes from the Russian Orthodox Church the hope of Orthodoxy in the World; because it comes from Russia, the conscience of universal spiritual values.

May the Russia, under His Excellency Vladimir Putin, continue to prosper and to spread its humanistic message throughout the Globe. And may the Holy Orthodox Church of Russia under your Holiness continue to promote the realm of the spirit and light our way.

When Your Holiness honor me with the International Foundation for the Unity of Orthodox Christian Nations Prize, you are not only honoring my person; you are also honoring my Antiochian Orthodox Church, under your brother Patriarch Ignatius IV who asked me to convey his best wishes to you; and you are honoring as well my country Lebanon as a country in which Christianity and Islam enjoy dynamic interaction in full equality. The coveted Prize reflects in part the goals which Lebanon as a model represents.
I thank Your Holiness for this great honor, and pray the Lord to sustain you in good health to complete the major spiritual renewal that you have embarked upon’.

Mrs. Hala Fares was a recipient of the award presented by H.B. Patriarch Alexy who presented her a decoration in appreciation of her generous contribution in the social sphere.

Patriarch Alexy honors Hala Fares, awarding her for her valuable contributions in the social sphere.

The awarding ceremony was followed by a banquet thrown in honor of the occasion by the representative of the Antiochian Church His Grace Bishop Niphon Saykali. The banquet was attended by His Beatitude Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow& All Russia, Patriarch Pavel, the officials of the Russian church, Lebanese Ambassador to Russia Mr. Butros Asaker, the Papal Ambassador in Moscow, as well as the Arab and foreign Ambassadors accredited in Russia.

Issam & Hala Fares among high-ranked Russian personalities attending the banquet

Mrs. Hala Fares attends the banquet throw by the representative of the Antiochian Church

His Excellency discusses with H.B. Patriarch Alexy II the regional developments

On the sidelines of the banquet, Fares had held meetings with Russian Ambassador Boris Bolotine and other figures with whom discussions tackled fruitful topics related to Lebanon, Russia, and the bilateral ties.

Fares talks with Russian Ambassador Boris Bolotine Middle Eastern Issues

Issam Fares holds reunions on the sidelines of the awarding ceremony

Before attending the banquet thrown in his honor, Fares had paid a visit to the Chairman of the State Duma Mr. Gennady Seleznyov before attending the banquet thrown in his honor.

Fares meets the Chairman of the State Duma Mr. Gennady Seleznyov