ASIA/SYRIA - Negotiations for a truce in Aleppo. Bishop Abou Khazen: it is only useful if it brings us closer to true peace

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Aleppo (Agenzia Fides) - "Among the population of Aleppo there is hope, but also skepticism regarding the hypothesis of a truce to silence the weapons in the region of Aleppo": this is how Bishop Georges Abou Khazen OFM, Patriarchal Vicar of Aleppo for the Catholics of the Latin rite, describes the mixed feelings among residents of the Syrian city in front of the negotiations put in place by the UN to achieve a cease-fire in the conflict between the Syrian army and the rebel militias.
The possibility that violence ends is obviously called for by the entire population. "But everyone - explains to Agenzia Fides the Franciscan Bishop - wants truce to represent only the first step to establish an authentic process of peace and reconciliation. Otherwise, a temporary ceasefire would only give the warring parties time to reorganize themselves, try to infiltrate the controlled territories on the other side and continue the fight with more virulence, as has happened before.
In this sense - explains Bishop Abou Khazen - expressions that speak of 'freezing' of the situation on the ground is not convincing, and end up fueling skepticism. The population is exhausted, people want true and lasting peace. And hopes that Aleppo can take the lead in a peace process that gradually extends to the whole Country".
The proposal for a truce in Aleppo is led by the Envoy of the United Nations in Syria, Staffan de Mistura, who for this purpose is carrying out a mission in the Arab Country these days. Yesterday, during a press conference in Damascus, he spoke of ''constructive interest'' expressed by the Syrian government in front of the hypothesis of a cease-fire in the metropolis, disputed between the army loyal to Assad and the rebel militia. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 12/11/2014)