Patriarch Aphrem II: ‘Syrians have the right to decide their future’

Syriac Orthodox Patriarchate – 20/2/19

February 17, 2019 – Munich

His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II asked during a panel discussion about the situation in Syria at Munich Security Conference: What is the interest of the Syrian people in what happened to our country Syria? He expressed his surprise that Syrian affairs are being discussed at the panel in the absence of representatives from Syria.

During the panel which was attended by representatives of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of the United States of America and Russia as well as the Ministers of Defense of Lebanon and Turkey, His Holiness noted that one of the premises and promises of the so-called Arabic Spring in the Middle East was to usher in a new era of democracy where people have the right to decide their own future and way of governance. He asked: Why are the Syrians thus prohibited from deciding their own future?

His Holiness pointed out to the humanitarian tragedy and great suffering which the Syrian people are living as a result of the unilateral sanctions which were illegally imposed by some countries.

His Holiness emphasized the necessity of a political solution for the crisis in Syria, ensuring the return of all refugees and internally displaced people. He also asked the help of all parties involved in the Syrian conflict regarding the following main topics:
1- The case of the two abducted Archbishops of Aleppo Boulos Yaziji and Mor Gregorius Youhanna Ibrahim.
2- Lifting the illegal unilateral sanctions imposed on the Syrian people.
3- Giving the Syrian people the right to decide their future.