PATRIARCH SAKO: “STOP THE VIOLENCE TO AVOID ANOTHER IRAQ”

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“What justice will be done for the Syrians with air raids? Nobody knows the black hole the country is entering but us, the Iraqis: we entered that tunnel before them and, alas, we are still in it”, mgr. Louis Sako the Chaldean Patriarch of Babylon tells MISNA in such a crucial moment for a possible military intervention against Damascus.

“Why those pretending to act for the Syrian people’s own good did not intervene beforehand, with diplomatic means?” the Patriarch asks. “It seems to me – he adds – to hear once again the very same words and declarations that were made before the military intervention in Iraq”. “Then years have passed – he says – and, believe me, we have seen little freedom and democracy” .

From Baghdad, the head of the Chaldean Christian community has a privileged point of view on the whole Middle East “for we already lived, experienced and suffered everything that is now happening in other parts of the region” and that is why, he says “I ask everybody to learn from our mistakes and our sufferings, for dialogue is the only possible way and this way must be kept open”.

Ten years after Saddam Hussein’s fall, Iraq is experiencing a new period of instability and sectarian violence: the country risks more bomb attacks and a new civil war.

“Syria is already following this path. But an armed foreign intervention would only make things worse and could affect the country and the entire region in unpredictable ways”, Mgr. Sako says. He just issued a statement inviting the bishops of Iraq to take part, on Saturday, in the day of fasting and prayer proclaimed by Pope Francis for peace in Syria and in the world.

“If one really wants to stop the massacre of the Syrian people – the patriarch says – one must first of all stop sending weapons and ammunition to the warring parties and force the regional powers, which are fuelling the conflict, to find a solution. They are putting the Syrians’ lives at stake for unacceptable interests and ambitions. All this has to be stopped with politics not with more bombs”.

http://www.misna.org/en/other/patriarch-sako-stop-the-violence-to-avoid-another-iraq-05-09-2013-813.html