Ahead of Geneva conference, Chaldean Bishop warns: ‘Syria is not Libya’

“Participants at the Geneva 2 Conference will have to start respecting the characteristics of the country of Syria”.

The Bishop of Aleppo of the Chaldeans, Antoine Audo said this is the only approach that can ensure concrete results at the next International Conference of Peace on Syria scheduled in Montreux, Switzerland, on 22 January.

“We believe that we must respect the country with its problems, support it in its progressive journey towards justice and freedom”, said Bishop Audo, “rather than taking advantage of its weakness simply to destroy it.”

“As men of the Church, this is the perspective with which we look at the present and the future of Syria. And we ask ourselves what and why is there the need to destroy a country that was stable and also safeguarded treasures of civilization.

“Maybe someone thought that Syria was like Libya, that it was easy to change the system from the outside, perhaps for economic interests. As it turns out, it was fallacious conjecture”.

Bishop Audo expresses gratitude for what Pope Francis is doing for peace in the region. He said: “I was told that in the coming days there will be a study day on the tragedy of the Syrian people at the Vatican. Even here there will be elements of reflection that could be useful during the Geneva 2 Conference”.