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President Tamás Sulyok met Ignatius Aphrem II, the Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, in his office in Budapest, the presidential Sándor Palace said. At the meeting, Sulyok said that supporting Christian communities around the world was a primary task for Hungary. The country also provides help to the Christian Church and religious organisations through the Hungary Helps aid scheme, according to a statement released on the palace’s website. Sulyok and the patriarch were in agreement that they consider the protection and support of Christian communities in Syria and the Middle East a joint issue, the statement said. It noted the support and help Hungary had provided to churches in the region at times of natural disasters as well as for educational, cultural and religious development programmes.