Religious figures gathered for a meeting of the Patriarchs of Antioch and All the East in Damascus on Monday, affirming their commitment to preserving Syria’s unity and the rights of its people to live in safety, urging the world to help find a political solution for the crisis facing the country.
At the end of the meeting, the participants issued a statement, claiming: ”The Syrian people are exposed to terrorism backed by foreign powers to divide Syria, ruin its civilization and displace its people”.
The statement called for a solution in Syria that guarantees peace, ensures the return of the kidnapped and displaced persons, while preserving Syrians’ right to self-determination without foreign interference.
The statement also called for unity among Christians to combat terrorism side-by-side with their “Muslim brothers”.
“Today, we speak on behalf of the fighters who defend their livelihood and sacrifice their lives to combat terrorism, Takfiri mentality, indiscriminate abduction, crippling siege, and the destruction of coexistence symbols to say ‘enough’ to destruction and to burying of humanity and its culture in their native lands”, Patriarch John X Yazigi said during the meeting.
“The scene of the brothers meeting, of the Patriarchs of Antioch gathering in Syria in this situation and specifically in Damascus, is a true message to the people of the Levant and the whole world”, Yazigi said, adding the meeting aims at launching a call for peace, a message of reconciliation, and a historic stand in the face of regional events.
The patriarch accused the international community, the UN forums and all other international and governmental organizations of negligence towards the “bleeding wounds” of Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Egypt, Yemen, Libya, and Palestine, calling upon these international bodies to stop infringing upon the sovereignty of Middle Eastern states.
Yazigi said that Christians and other ‘moderate people’, both the minorities and the majorities, are paying the price of displacement and terrorism.
“We are determined to remain as we have always been, and we will stay in this Orient. Despite all the circumstances that force our sons to leave their homeland and despite the difficulties and misery of the current days, we say and repeat that the homeland is an identity, and the land to us is an identity”, the patriarch said.
Edited by The Syrian Observer