08/29/2013, 00.00
VATICAN - JORDAN

Pope: dialogue and negotiations "only option" to stop the conflict in Syria

Francis receives the King of Jordan. In addition to the "tragic” Syrian situation, the resumption of negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians and the question of Jerusalem also discussed. "Appreciation" for the initiative to convene an Amman conference on the challenges for Christians in the Middle East.

Vatican City ( AsiaNews ) - Dialogue and negotiation , with the support of the international community are " the only option " to end the conflict in Syria, states a communiqué issued by the Holy See following discussions held this morning in the Vatican between King Abdullah II of Jordan and Pope Francis.  The King was also received by Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone together with Mgr . Dominique Mamberti, Secretary for Relations with States.

The Vatican statement spoke of "cordial discussions" with the King of Jordan - who was accompanied by Queen Rania - while not making any express reference to the new winds of war that threaten the Middle East.  It confirms the concern with which not only the Hashemite kingdom - which lives in the line of fire and fears possible involvement - but also the Pope follows the situation in Damascus.

Speaking of "issues of common interest", the statement emphasizes "the restarting of negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians, and on the question of Jerusalem".

"Special attention was reserved for the tragic situation in which Syria finds itself. In this regard, it was reaffirmed that the path of dialogue and negotiation between all components of Syrian society, with the support of the international community, is the only option to put an end to the conflict and to the violence that every day causes the loss of so many human lives, especially amongst the helpless civilian population".

"Appreciation was also expressed for King Abdullah's commitment in the field of interreligious dialogue and for the initiative of convening a conference in Amman, at the beginning of the month of September, on the challenges that Christians in the Middle East will have to face, in particular during this period of socio-political transformations. Finally, recognition was expressed for the positive contribution that Christian communities bring to the local society, of which they are an integral part".

Pope Francis has repeatedly publicly expressed his sorrow for the Syrian conflict . "With great pain and concern - he said last Sunday during the Angelus - I continue to follow the situation in Syria. The increase in violence in a war between brothers, with the proliferation of massacres and atrocities, that we all have been able to see in the terrible images of these days, leads me once again to raise my voice that the clatter of arms may cease." "

Speaking to the faithful gathered in St Peter's Square, he also called for the international community to "show greater sensitivity towards this tragic situation and do all it can to help the beloved Syrian nation find a solution to a war that is sowing death and destruction".

 

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