Friday, 6 September 2013
Pope Calls On World Leaders To Abandon Military Options In Syria
Pope Francis called on world leaders attending the G20 summit in Russia to seek peace in Syria through diplomatic means, laying aside the “futile pursuit” of a military solution.
In a letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is hosting the G20 summit, Francis said that lopsided global interests have blocked a diplomatic course in the Syrian conflict and have led to the “senseless massacre” of innocent people.
“To the leaders present, to each and every one, I make a heartfelt appeal for them to help find ways to overcome the conflicting positions and to lay aside the futile pursuit of a military solution,” Francis wrote.
The letter follows an announcement earlier this week that the Vatican will host a vigil for peace in Syria in St. Peter’s Square on Saturday. The Vatican outlined Thursday its position on Syria to ambassadors accredited to the Holy See.
“Confronted with similar acts one cannot remain silent, and the Holy See hopes that the competent institutions make clear what happened and that those responsible face justice,” the Vatican’s Foreign Minister, Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, told the 71 ambassadors regarding the chemical weapons attack that took place outside Damascus on August 21. The US and its allies believe the attack was launched by the Syrian government.
Mamberti said the main priority was to stop the violence which he said is risking the involvement of other countries and creating “unforeseeable consequences in various parts of the world.”
He did not mention possible military strikes by the US, but stressed peace in all facets of a potential solution to the violent conflict.