ASIA/SYRIA - Caritas: peace talks, only option for the Syrian crisis

Saturday, 31 August 2013

Vatican City ( Agenzia Fides) - The ongoing civil war in Syria can only be resolved through peace talks, says a statement issued by Caritas Internationalis and sent to Fides Agency. The Secretary General of Caritas Internationalis, Frenchman Michel Roy explained: "The Syrian people need no further bloodshed, but a quick end to the conflict. An immediate ceasefire is urgent. A military intervention on behalf of foreign powers will simply widen the war and increase the suffering". The note recalls "the tragic consequences of military operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya".
For this reason, says the note sent to Fides, "Caritas believes that the only humanitarian solution is negotiation. Dialogue can put an end to the war in Syria, safeguard people's lives and build a sustainable future for all. Priority must be to re-launch talks in Geneva as the first step towards a ceasefire and a peace agreement".
Caritas says that "the alleged use of chemical weapons in Damascus showed that the humanitarian situation has become catastrophic for millions of people in Syria. The use of chemical weapons is a horrible crime". Caritas condemns all attacks against civilians: "According to international law, fighters have the duty to protect the lives of civilians". The international community - adds Caritas - "has the obligation to find an end to the suffering of the Syrian people, and this can only be achieved through dialogue".
Meanwhile, Caritas Syria and other partners of the Church continue to provide humanitarian assistance to thousands of Syrian refugees and citizens, without any discrimination regarding ethnic, religious or political belief.
Mgr. Antoine Audo, Chaldean Archbishop of Aleppo and president of Caritas Syria said: "We hope that Pope Francis’ appeal for authentic dialogue between the parties in conflict can be a first step to stop the fighting". (PA) (Agenzia Fides 31/08/2013)