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    » 09/05/2013, 00.00

    VATICAN - RUSSIA - SYRIA

    Pope tells G20 leaders they "cannot remain indifferent", that they must push for negotiations in Syria



    In a letter to Putin, who chairs the group's annual summit, Francis calls on world leaders "to lay aside the futile pursuit of a military solution". Ambassadors accredited to the Vatican are told that dialogue and Syrian unity are key to resolving the conflict.

    Vatican City (AsiaNews) - In view of the Syrian tragedy, G20 leaders "cannot remain indifferent," the pope writes. They must "help find ways to overcome the conflicting positions and to lay aside the futile pursuit of a military solution." They must also "do everything possible to ensure humanitarian assistance to those suffering because of the conflict, both within and beyond the country's borders."

    In a letter released today addressed to Russian President Vladimir Putin, chairman of the G20 summit in St Petersburg, Francis Pope has attempted again to encourage world leaders to find a peaceful solution to the Syrian crisis.

    In writing this letter, which follows appeals he made in the past few days and a call for a day of prayer and fasting for peace, the pope has decided to extend his efforts to the diplomatic field, which included a briefing in the Vatican today for diplomats accredited to the Holy See stressing the latter's fears and initiatives.

    In his letter to Putin, the pope addresses the summit's usual economic issues; however, "the meeting will surely not forget the situation in the Middle East and particularly in Syria."

    "It is regrettable," the letter read, "that, from the very beginning of the conflict in Syria, one-sided interests have prevailed and in fact hindered the search for a solution that would have avoided the senseless massacre now unfolding. The leaders of the G20 cannot remain indifferent to the dramatic situation of the beloved Syrian people which has lasted far too long, and even risks bringing greater suffering to a region bitterly tested by strife and needful of peace. 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. Rather, let there be a renewed commitment to seek, with courage and determination, a peaceful solution through dialogue and negotiation of the parties, unanimously supported by the international community. Moreover, all governments have the moral duty to do everything possible to ensure humanitarian assistance to those suffering because of the conflict, both within and beyond the country's borders."

    The position of the Holy See on the Syrian crisis was also presented this morning to the ambassadors accredited to the Vatican. In his outline, the Secretary for Relations with States, Mgr Mamberti, emphasised "some elements that the Holy See considers important for a possible plan for the future of Syria."

    "Among the general principles that should guide the search for a just solution to the conflict I would focus on three," he said. "First, it is essential to strive for the restoration of dialogue between the parties and the reconciliation of the Syrian people. Second, it is necessary to preserve the unity of the country, avoiding the creation of different zones for the various components of society. Third, and lastly, in addition to unity, the country's territorial integrity must be guaranteed."

    In his address, the pope also mentioned the G20's economic agenda. " In today's highly interdependent context, a global financial framework with its own just and clear rules is required in order to achieve a more equitable and fraternal world, in which it is possible to overcome hunger, ensure decent employment and housing for all, as well as essential healthcare. Your presidency of the G20 this year has committed itself to consolidating the reform of the international financial organizations and to achieving a consensus on financial standards suited to today's circumstances. However, the world economy will only develop if it allows a dignified way of life for all human beings, from the eldest to the unborn child, not just for citizens of the G20 member states but for every inhabitant of the earth, even those in extreme social situations or in the remotest places."

    "From this standpoint, it is clear that, for the world's peoples, armed conflicts are always a deliberate negation of international harmony, and create profound divisions and deep wounds which require many years to heal. Wars are a concrete refusal to pursue the great economic and social goals that the international community has set itself, as seen, for example, in the Millennium Development Goals. Unfortunately, the many armed conflicts which continue to afflict the world today present us daily with dramatic images of misery, hunger, illness and death. Without peace, there can be no form of economic development. Violence never begets peace, the necessary condition for development."

    The pope ended his letter with a request to Putin to pray for him.

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    See also

    10/06/2015 RUSSIA - VATICAN
    Ukraine and the Middle East focus of Putin’s second visit to Pope
    The Russian leader returns to Vatican after two years; the Syrian crisis overtaken by Ukraine, Pope viewed by Moscow continues as a significant interlocutor in context of exacerbated tensions with the West. The defense of persecuted Christians around the world Federation’s weapon of "soft power".

    10/06/2015 VATICAN – RUSSIA
    Pope meets Putin, urges the pursuit of peace in the Ukraine and the Middle East
    The private meeting between Francis and the Russian president lasted 50 minutes. On the Ukraine, reference was made to the implementation of the Minsk agreements. On Syria and Iraq, the two leaders discussed the "concrete involvement" of the international community “whilst ensuring the conditions necessary for life of all segments of society, including religious minorities, particularly Christians."

    23/01/2014 VATICAN - SYRIA
    Geneva II: For the Vatican, dialogue, not war, is the only solution to the Syrian crisis
    Mgr Silvano Tomasi spoke yesterday at the Peace Conference, noting that the meeting should consider first the people of Syria, not the quest for power of one or the other faction. In his address, the Holy See delegates laid out five proposals for immediate implementation, including full citizenship for all Syrians irrespective of communal affiliation. He also reiterated Pope Francis' commitment to peace and a culture of dialogue.

    08/11/2013 RUSSIA - VATICAN
    Putin goes to the Pope: On the agenda, the war in Syria and Middle East’s Christians
    The Russian president "strongly" desired encounter with Francis, which will be held on the afternoon of November 25. Ahead of the leader of the Kremlin, Metropolitan Hilarion , number 2 of the Russian Orthodox Patriarchate, will visit the Vatican .

    26/07/2015 VATICAN-SYRIA
    Pope: urgent appeal for the release of Fr. Dall'Oglio, kidnapped two years ago in Syria
    At the Angelus, Pope Francis recalls the Jesuit priest, the two Orthodox bishops and all those who have been kidnapped, calling on all present to join him in the recitation of a Hail Mary. Joined by the presence of two young people, he opens registration for WYD in Krakow and registers himself as teh first pilgrim online with a tablet. Commenting on today's Gospel: "Who among us does not have his" five loaves and two fish "? If we are willing to put them in the hands of the Lord, they will be a bit more love in the world to go around".



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