ASIA/SYRIA - From the "yes" to the UN peace plan "new hope for the Syrian people, who want unity and peace"

Damascus (Agenzia Fides) - "The acceptance by the Damascus government of the UN six-point plan is a source of great hope for all the Syrian people. The Christians in Syria support and hope for a rapid enforcement of Kofi Annan’s plan, to stop the violence, and want unity and reconciliation": is what he Fr. Paul Dall'Oglio, a Jesuit for 30 years in Syria, founder of the Monastery of Deir Mar Musa says in an interview with Fides. The six-point plan include: collaboration with the UN envoy; an end to violence; access to relief supplies to conflict zones; release of arrested pacific activists; freedom of movement for journalists; freedom of association and expression for citizens.
The Jesuit explains to Fides: "Today, after accepting Kofi Annan’s peace plan, a perspective opens in which all Syrians hope, except those who, in two parts, think of winning militarily, imposing its own armed force. The majority of the Syrian population is moderate in nature: the society is pluralistic, and the Syrian people are intellectually developed, prone to mediation, free of extremist armed chromosomes. But if civil society is drawn from the diabolical logic of military escalation, community, tribal, territorial deployment end up to prevail". This is what happened in the last year, where "the political space was drowned by the spiral of violence. Many are convinced that this is an explicit strategy, designed to make the non-violent expression of opposition impossible. If weapons are used, dialogue is impossible". According to the Jesuit, in the ongoing conflict "various factors and different forces are involved: the confrontation between Sunnis and Shiites, the one between Russia and NATO, the one between Turkey and Iran, while the prevailing feeling is that the unresolved conflict with Israel has its weight".
The Syrian people are victims of these games: "The Syrians are victims of this state of things, and Christians are victimized twice, because crushed in a conflict in which they cannot take part". The position of the Syrian Christians, the Jesuit said: "In the coastal region, which goes from Oronte to the sea, where they form, with other minorities, a majority, the Syrian Christians share the goals of the majority, ie self-preservation against the specter of instability or a Sunni Islamic state. Many faithful are for the conversation because they are afraid the Iraqi scenario is repeated: a situation where they become victims of civil war and instability. Generally Christians hope that a minority status is kept, as in the last 40 years. Although, one must remember, this was done at the expense of human rights".
The possibility of building a united opposition - in an effort currently underway in Turkey - Fr. Dall'Oglio says: "The government speaks with a monolithic voice. The opposition, built on a pluralist perspective, speaks with different voices: in this phase one tries to form a Coordination which is based on some points of constitutional nature". To overcome the crisis, Fr. Paolo has proposed a project of "consensual parliamentary democracy", with a President elected by Parliament, which is the guarantor of national unity and security of all members of society. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 28/3/2012)

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