Transfer to the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society (IOPS) of a Land Plot in Bethlehem

The Head of the Palestinian National Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, on May 21 handed to Alexander Saltanov, Special Middle East Envoy of the President of the Russian Federation, Deputy Foreign Minister and Deputy Chairman of the IOPS, a package of documents on the transfer of the ownership of a land plot in the historic part of the city of Bethlehem to the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society. In accordance with the agreement reached, a secondary school will be built on this site.

This event came as a logical sequel to the negotiation process between PNA Head Abbas and IOPS Chairman Sergey Stepashin, with the active cooperation of the Russian Foreign Ministry, on restoring the historical presence of the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society in the Holy Land.

The IOPS, one of Russia’s oldest nongovernmental organizations which marked its 125th anniversary last year, had at the turn of the 19th-20th centuries more than 100 schools in the Middle East, particularly in Bethlehem.

Reviving the traditional relations of friendship and mutual assistance between Russia and the countries of the Middle Eastern region is the major objective of the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society.

MFA of Russia