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Syria and Russia to Build ‘New Hagia Sophia’ in Hama Province

This latest joint move by Damascus and Moscow is a public relations coup, but it is also sure to draw the ire of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Middle East Monitor reports…


The construction of this mini Hagia Sophia, taking place in the central province of Hama, will be assisted by Syria’s prominent ally Russia and will reportedly show the importance of “peaceful dialogue” between the major faiths.

According to the Lebanon-based news outlet Al-Modon, the idea for the building was initiated by a man named Nabeul Al-Abdullah, the head of a pro-regime loyalist militia within the province. After gaining the approval of the metropolitan bishop of the Greek Orthodox church in Hama, Nicolos Baalbaki, the plans were then presented to the Russian military within Syria.

The replica is to be built specifically in the Greek Orthodox-majority city of Al-Suqaylabiyah, on a piece of land donated by the militia leader Al-Abdullah; a Russian team within Latakia’s Hmeimim military base is reportedly already working on plans for the construction.

According to the Arabic-language newspaper Rai Al-Youm, Russian lawmaker Vitaly Milonov stated that Syria is the ideal location for the mini Hagia Sophia replica because “unlike Turkey, it is a country that clearly shows the possibility of peaceful and positive interfaith dialogue.”

READ MORE SYRIA NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire Syria Files

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