All energy should go to political negotiations for a solution in Syria


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All energy should go to political negotiations for a solution in Syria

Pax Christi International on the Vienna talks

November 16, 2015 -- The war in Syria has almost completed its fifth year. The cost in terms of human life, the environment and infrastructure is immense – more than 250.000 people have been killed and millions have been displaced. The cycle of extreme violence on the whole Syrian population is unacceptable and should come to an end as soon as possible.

A new round of international talks aimed at resolving the Syria crisis took place on 14 November 2015 in Vienna, immediately after the awful and gruesome attacks in Paris and Beirut. (See Pax Christi International’s statement here.) Participants at the Vienna meeting came from 17 nations, including Iran and Saudi Arabia, and included delegates from the United Nations and the European Union. A UN led political process including a timeframe has been decided. A roadmap has been agreed for ending the devastating and destabilizing war. Although this may not be the perfect plan, the international community should invest all its energy to ensure this is not another failed opportunity. The war in Syria must end.

Pax Christi International believes that this process should be aimed at bringing the fighting parties together in its broadest representation possible. For peace negotiations to be successful, all stakeholders need to be at the table. Hard work and transparent commitment from all parties involved must be undertaken to end the military escalation and to find a negotiated political solution. Pax Christi International is convinced that military actions cannot bring about peace in Syria.

At the same time care should be given to protect all civilians, especially the most vulnerable people. In particular, it is imperative that bombing of residential areas stop and the siege of residential neighbourhoods be lifted. All parties should be held accountable for their actions.

Pax Christi International insists in that foreign countries should no longer be involved in military operations in Syria; these interventions – with divergent interests in the background - have been counterproductive. The fighters of ISIS or other extremist groups should be totally isolated and no longer supported.

Pax Christi International continues to support all those peace workers inside and outside the region in their nonviolent actions to unite people instead of making them enemies. We encourage their nonviolent resistance aimed at ending military actions from all sides.

November 16 is the International Day of Tolerance; in recognition, Pax Christi International expresses its belief in progress, peaceful coexistence and solidarity among all peoples, a goal for not only in Syria and the Middle East but worldwide. We hope that a new Syrian reawakening might be created based on the advancement of freedom, democracy, social justice, tolerance and respect for human dignity. That is what the Syrian people long for and that is what the world should support.

Brussels, 16 November 2015   


Photo of Syrian refugee children in Lebanon, close to the border with Syria, taken by Eoghan Rice; courtesy of Trocaire (Ireland) (DSC_0871 (Syria 1, Emergencies 6)) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons