01/22/2014, 00.00
RUSSIA - SYRIA
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Geneva II, Patriarch of Moscow: Stop the war and free the hostages

Kirill addresses the participants of the international conference on Syria , which opens today in Montreux, Switzerland. Still no news of the two Orthodox bishops seized in April 2013.

Moscow (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, Kirill , has sent a message to participants at the international conference on Syria, which opens today 22 January in Montreux ( Switzerland ) in the hope that the so-called " Geneva II " will put an end to the war in the Middle Eastern nation.

"Today the world looks to you in the hope that decisive actions will be taken aimed at ensuring a peaceful solution to the bloody conflict in Syria", reads the statement of the Orthodox primate, published by Russian agencies and in which Kirill speaks of  the "great responsibility." "The dimensions of the tragedy that has consumed Syria for the past three years, is enormous," denounces Kirill.  In September last, he also wrote to the U.S. President , Barack Obama, against the then -feared military attack on Damascus.

The Patriarch calls on all people of good will to stop the escalation of violence in Syria, "putting an end to the intervention of terrorists and extremist groups , their funding and military support from outside, and give the opportunity to the people of Syria to decide which path to take for themselves".

The Orthodox leader went on to state that the "release of hostages and the protection of sacred sites and monuments of historical and cultural value" is the first necessary step to achieve peace and stability.

The Russian Orthodox Church has repeatedly expressed concern about the fate of the Metropolitan Boulos Yazigi (of the Orthodox Church of Antioch) and Metropolitan Mar Gregorios Youhanna Ibrahim (of the Syrian Orthodox Church ) , seized by a group of militants in April of last year. The two religious leaders were engaged in humanitarian work in the village of Kafr Dael , near the Turkish -Syrian border. ( N.A. )

 

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