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Thursday, 31 July 2014
Patriarch Aphrem II from the Lebanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs: “We demand the major countries to investigate the crimes against humanity that are committed against the Christians in the East”.
His Holiness Mor Ignatius Aphrem II, Syrian Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, called the major countries and the international community to investigate the crimes against humanity that are committed against the Christians in Mosul and more generally in the Middle East.
This call was launched after the meeting convened by the invitation of Minister Bassil on Friday July 25, 2015 from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Lebanon. The invitation was sent to the ambassadors of the five countries with permanent membership in the Security Council and Mr. Derek Plumbly the personal representative of the UN General Secretary. The invitation was extended also to all the participants of the Meeting convened by His Holiness Patriarch Aphrem II two days before in Atchaneh.
In the opening address, Mr. Bassil described the danger of what is happening against Christians in Mosul and its consequences on the region in general. He expressed his discontent at the forced immigration of Christians from Mosul. He told that the Lebanese Government and he personally is ready to make all necessary efforts and multiple calls with the embassies to reach a solution that protects the religious minorities in the region. He is preparing a complete dossier that shall be presented by the Lebanese Government to the International Criminal Court (ICC) about the war crimes and crimes against humanity that are being committed against Christians in the East.
In turn, Patriarch Aphrem II addressed the ambassadors of the five countries of permanent membership in the Security Council and the personal representative of the UN Secretary General and presented some important and pressing demands, most important of which is to provide the Christians of Mosul and in Nineveh Plain international protection. He asked for immediate humanitarian aids for the relief of those who were forced to leave their houses. Moreover, he communicated the fear of the people there with the absence of a safe haven; he also demanded to provide one soon to insure that Christians remain in the Levant. In relation to international contacts, he requested from the personal representative of the UN Secretary General to get an appointment with the General Secretary Ban Kee Moon in the soonest to submit a report on the situation and convey a true image of what is currently happening. Patriarch Aphrem II called the ambassadors present in the meeting to work together as permanent members in the Security Council and individually to resolve the humanitarian crisis and pressure those who support and finance terrorism, violence and war.
Moreover, the representative of Chaldean Patriarch Louis Sako, Bishop Shlimon Wardoni who came especially from Baghdad spoke of the current situation in Iraq. He stressed that “we are demanding our rights; we are not foreigners, we are the children of this land before Islam. Now Mosul is without Christians… why all this fierce attack?”
Mr. Derek Plumbly, the personal representative of UN General Secretary reassured that the UN is closely following the dangerous events of the region and the assaults that are taking place. They will work out the fitting solutions and implement them to help the needy and eliminate injustice.
Every ambassador present in the meeting conveyed the view of his country in this matter; they condemned the violation of human rights and liberties, especially the freedom of belief and religion. They assured that they reject violence and terrorism and they will offer the help that they can.
At the end of the meeting, His Holiness Patriarch Aphrem II spoke in a short press conference assuring that we will not remain silent in front of what is happening in Iraq and the Middle East in general. We invite all to assume this historical responsibility and help protect the existence of the components that gave this East its civilization.
Source: Patriarch Aphrem II from the Lebanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs: “We demand the major countries to investigate the crimes against humanity that are committed against the Christians in the East”.