Pope Francis Seeks Resolution to Syria Conflict

Saturday, 21 Dec 2013 10:31 AM

By Edward Pentin

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
Pope Francis is to assemble diplomats and experts next month for an impromptu meeting on how to resolve the conflict in Syria.

The meeting, to be hosted at the Vatican by Archbishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, will take place Jan. 13, just a few days before U.N.-backed peace talks begin on ending the conflict in Geneva.

Editor’s Note: Do You Approve of Pope Francis? Vote Now in Urgent Poll

The Geneva II Middle East peace conference, to take place Jan. 22, will bring together members of the Syrian regime and the Syrian opposition to discuss a possible transitional government with full executive powers.

The Vatican meeting is aimed at “influencing” the peace talks so that the most just and lasting solution can be achieved, a diplomatic source said. The Pontifical Academy of Sciences confirmed the meeting but was unable to further details, saying it was still making preparations for the seminar. However, other sources have said that planning is already well advanced.

On Sept. 7 this year, Pope Francis led a day of prayer and fasting for peace in Syria. The initiative, which attracted participation across the world, is credited by many for helping to avert a U.S. military strike on Syria after a chemical weapons attack on a Damascus suburb in August.

The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Archbishop Fouad Twal, said the vigil produced a “miracle” by helping to prevent what many viewed was an imminent escalation of the conflict. Shortly before the day of prayer and fasting, the Holy See also took the rare step of assembling diplomats accredited to the Holy See, during which officials presented them with a detailed peace plan for the country. Not since the Iraq War of 2003 has the Holy See been so active in trying to broker peace.

The impetus comes from the Pope himself, who is known to be deeply concerned about the Syrian conflict. He has a particular concern for the Christians living there and frequently appealed for peace. Earlier this month he appealed for the release of 12 Orthodox nuns abducted by armed Islamist rebels in Maaloula, a predominantly Christian city north of Damascus.

On Jan. 13, the same day as the Vatican meeting on Syria, the Pope is expected to make further appeals for peace when he delivers his annual address to diplomats accredited to the Holy See. Observers say the conflict will also rank highly in his list of concerns to be mentioned during his urbi et orbi address — the message Popes traditionally give to “the city and to the world” on Christmas Day.

The Geneva II peace talks, led by U.N. peace envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi in close cooperation with the U.S. and Russia, have frequently run in to trouble. Initially proposed for the end of May this year, the talks have been postponed several times. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced that the conference would be held on 22 Jan. at the end of November.
Click Here Now.
 
Editor’s Note: Do You Approve of Pope Francis? Vote Now in Urgent Poll

Edward Pentin began reporting on the Vatican as a correspondent with Vatican Radio in 2002. He has covered the Pope and the Holy See for a number of publications, including Newsweek and The Sunday Times. Read more reports from Edward Pentin —

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Retype Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
You May Also Like

Christian Militias Are Needed in Iraq

Thursday, 21 Aug 2014 11:20 AM

As police struggled to contain the looting in Ferguson this week, some store owners reportedly armed themselves to defen . . .

Pope Condemns Islamic Christian Persecution

Wednesday, 13 Aug 2014 10:26 AM

Not since the use of chemical weapons in Syria one year ago has Pope Francis been so vociferous in condemning violence a . . .

Pope's 10-Point Plan Attracts Fans, Critics

Wednesday, 30 Jul 2014 09:58 AM

Pope Francis has become the latest to contribute to a largely secular contemporary debate on the nature of happiness. . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved