New York – December 2014
His Beatitude John X from the United Nations Headquarters affirms:
The need for a prompt action to restore peace in Syria, and the non-selectivity when applying the principle of nations rights to self-determination.
His Beatitude John X, Patriarch of Antioch and all the East visited the United Nations Headquarters in New York accompanied by His Eminence Joseph Zehlawy (America), Damaschinos Mansour (Brazil), Sabba Esber (Hawran) and Basilios Mansour (Akkar).
His Beatitude met the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations Mr. Jan Eliasson, and he explained to him the truth about what is happening in Syria emphasizing the fact that the terrorism which we witness in the meanwhile does not make a part of the Eastern Society education in general, and especially the Syrian education.
Moreover, His Beatitude pointed out that the political solution, and the actual application of it, is the only way to resolve the crises, and to cease the expanding of its effects on the neighborhood, affirming the need to keep the right of the Syrian nation to self-determination intact, just like the other nations in the world.
Also, the case of the two abducted bishops Youhanna Ibrahim and Paul Yazigy was presented there, and His Beatitude described how the whole world closes its eyes forgetting about their abduction and what it represents as a threatening message for one the principal components of the Syrian population.
During the discussions, His Beatitude wondered: How the whole world talks about fighting against terrorism, but no one speaks about its sources, funds and weapons? That is why the solution starts from cutting the financial support, from all parties, and putting the last decision of the UN into application, which refers to ceasing the sources that support the cross-border terrorism.
For his part, the Deputy Secretary-General transmitted to the Patriarch and the delegation the greetings of the Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who is in Peru now, insisting on the role of the spiritual leaders in creating an atmosphere of tolerance as a first step to restrain extremism. Then, he explained the efforts undertaken by the UN to put an end to the Syrian crises, and he was sorry that the UN is not able to reach the required solution because of the divisions in the Security Council.
Later, His Beatitude moved with the accompanied delegation to the Chadian Mission headquarters, where he met with current president of the Security Council Mahamat Zene Cherif. The Patriarch asserted that the message of the populations of the Middle East is a message of peace, and he said that Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and all the East are places of peace that have never known takfir and terrorism which are strange of their reality, emphasizing that the principles of the Antiohian Church can be summed as: citizenship, coexistence, respecting human rights without exploiting them. His Beatitude spoke about the humanitarian role played by the Patriarchate without making any distinction between a religion and another, and he added: “we do not accept to be treated as a minority. According to our number, we could be a minority, but the pioneering Christian role throughout the history of our country is obvious and well known”. That is why he affirmed that talking about protecting Christians begins from helping them to restore peace in their countries, not by any other way, nor by sending the warships neither by sending other ships to move them out. At the end of this meeting, His Beatitude asked to transmit His message to the Security Council and to discuss the case of the abducted bishops Youhanna Ibrahim and Paul Yazigy.
Later, His Beatitude visited the Syrian Mission Headquarters meeting the permanent representative Bashar Al-Jaafari.
After that, His Beatitude moved with the accompanied delegation to the Russian Mission Headquarters in UN and met the permanent representative Vitaly Churkin. His Beatitude thanked Russia for its attitudes and actual efforts to restoring peace in Syria, asserting that Christians will remain in Syria in spite of all circumstances.
His Beatitude ended his visit in the UN Headquarters holding a press conference. And when he was asked about the his message to the countries that support the extremists materially, morally or logistically He said: “They should take care because they will turn against them one day”.