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Church calls Syrians to favour negotiation

Violence in Syria

Call for peace: A man runs while carrying a child who survived what activists say was an airstrike by forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad in Aleppo on January 21.

INTERNATIONAL leaders and representatives of various Syrian factions now engaged in peace talks must give “priority to negotiations over guns (and) to people over inordinate power”, the Holy See’s observer at the talks said.
“Dialogue is the only way forward,” Holy See representative to United Nations agencies in Geneva Archbishop Silvano Tomasi said in a speech to the UN-sponsored Geneva II peace talks on January 22.
“Confronted with the indescribable suffering of the Syrian people, a sense of solidarity and common responsibility prompts us to engage in a dialogue which is based on honesty, mutual trust, and concrete steps,” he said.
The UN has reported that “well over 100,000 people have been killed and nearly nine million others driven from their homes” since 2011 when efforts began to oust President Bashar Assad.
Even as representatives from 40 countries, regional organisations, the Syrian Government and the Syrian Opposition began the peace conference in Montreux, Switzerland, on January 22, a rocket hit a Catholic charities office in Aleppo, Syria.
Nobody was hurt in the attack, but the office of Caritas Aleppo was badly damaged, according to Caritas Internationalis, the umbrella organisation for Catholic charities around the world.

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