Syriac patriarch blames West for mess in Syria

The patriarch of Syria’s Catholics has said Western nations are responsible for the carnage in Syria, where the morale of Christians is “very, very low”.

Syriac Patriarch Ignatius Joseph III Younan said the present situation in Syria is the result of Western nations carrying out a geopolitical strategy “to split Syria and other countries” in the Middle East.

“It’s not a question of promoting democracy or pluralism, as the West wants us to understand of its policies. This is a lie, this is hypocrisy,” the patriarch said in an interview with Catholic News Service.

Meanwhile, the Vatican’s representative at the United Nations in New York, Archbishop Francis Chullikatt, has appealed to any world leaders with influence over the warring parties in Syria to “call upon them to halt immediately the blood-bath and the continual violations of human rights that only open the door to further retaliation and recrimination”.

In his Catholic News Service interview, Patriarch Younan said Western nations did not heed warnings over Syria and therefore “bear responsibility for what is happening”.

“We were warning all those involved, the countries in the region and in the West — that means the United States and some of the European Union countries, like the United Kingdom and France — that this kind of violence would lead to chaos and the chaos to a civil war,” Patriarch Younan said.

“And at that time, two years ago, they chose not to believe that.”

The patriarch said the Western nations “just stood against the regime, calling it a dictatorship, saying the dictatorship must fall. Now it’s over 25 months, the conflict is getting worse, and the ones who are paying the price are the innocent people”.

Patriarch Younan and other Eastern Catholic patriarchs in Lebanon have repeatedly warned against toppling Syrian President Bashar Assad, calling instead for dialogue to solve the crisis in the country.

But he emphasised that “we are not siding either with Assad or with his regime. We are with the Syrian people, and our concern is how can we get this country back on its feet for the sake of the population.”


Catholic News Service

The Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations

Image: Aramean Christians of Syria

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