2013-05-31 16:26:15

Holy See urges dialogue, reconciliation to end Syria conflict

31 May, 2013 - In order to stop a "useless and destructive tragedy that mortgages the future of Syria and the Middle East", the "way forward is not by a military intensification of the armed conflict but by dialogue and reconciliation," said Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, permanent observer of the Holy See to the United Nations in Geneva. He was speaking on Wednesday at a meeting of the UN Human Rights Council on the deteriorating situation of human rights in Syria and the recent killings in Al Qusayr. “Lives have been destroyed by the tens of thousands," the Vatican diplomat said, adding “a million and half persons have been forced to flee abroad as refugees; more than four million people have lost their homes; and civilians have been targeted by warring parties in total disregard of humanitarian law." "How much blood has been shed! And how much suffering must there still be before a political solution to the crisis will be found?" Archbishop Tomasi lamented, citing Pope Francis. Hence, for the Holy See "Silencing the guns is the priority". No efforts must be spared to find a political solution through peaceful talks that would lead to a government acceptable to all component communities of Syrian society, Archbishop Tomasi added. The Holy See official said that the situation in Syria amounted to an enormous national tragedy which could intensify regional and global conflicts. The way forward was not by the intensification of military action but by dialogue and reconciliation, a process which a proposed diplomatic conference could help to promote. The international community should show its solidarity to the victims of the Syrian crisis, particularly children in refugee camps and in conflict areas.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay slammed Syria for the presence of what she called "foreign troops" in Qusayr. " The situation in Syria reflects a colossal failure to protect civilians. Day after day, children, women and men suffer the brutality of unbridled violence and gross human rights violations by all parties," she told the 47-nation UN Human Rights Council. "The message from all of us should be the same: we will not support this conflict with arms, ammunition, politics or religion."

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