Oral Statement Human Rights Council 24th Session
Item 4: Interactive Dialogue with the Commission of Inquiry for the Syrian Arab Republic
Thank you Mr. President,
The Christians in Syria suffer like never before. The war has brought nothing but destruction and a more than uncertain future. We receive daily reports from our Aramean people about targeted violence against Christians by militant Islamists.
The abduction of two high representatives of the churches in Syria, the Syriac Orthodox Metropolitan of Aleppo H.E. Gregorius Hanna Ibrahim, and his Greek Orthodox colleague H.E. Boulos al-Yazigi, four months ago reveal the disturbing plan of a huge part of the opposition to fight the Christians and drive them out of the country. The two Bishops are still missing and we request the opposition to immediately set them free.
We would like to ask the commission of inquiry whether it is aware of the dimension of persecution and systematic violence against Christians in Syria by a radical part of the opposition.
The current diplomatic actions by the US and Russia regarding the destruction of chemical weapons are the right way and we request President Assad to do everything to prevent the country from more war by cooperating with the US and the international community.
Syria belongs to the Syrian people with their different religions and cultures, including the Christians. The plans by militant Islamists to establish an al-Qaeda or similar state in Syria must be combated by the international community.
This war must end before it consumes the whole region. And we ask the regime as well as the moderate opposition to agree to a ceasefire and start a reconciliatory dialogue. Before he was abducted, Bishop Ibrahim wrote in a letter to us the following:
“We are advocates of peace, and are working in order to keep this heinous war, that has flared uncontrollably in our homeland Syria, at bay. We cry loudly: Enough is enough; we are totally exhausted and cannot continue.”
Thank you Mr. President