|Green: SIGN! Text: “We invite you to sign the following appeal – “Enough with the sanctions on Syria and the Syrians” – written by religious leaders operating in Syria.”|
Enough with the sanctions on Syria and the Syrians! In 2011 the European Union initiated the sanctions against Syria, presenting them as “sanctions on personnel of the regime,” but which imposed an oil embargo, blocked any financial transaction, and prohibited the trade of many goods and products. This measure continues today, although with a somewhat inexplicable decision, in 2012 the oil embargo was removed from areas controlled by the armed and jihadist opposition, in order to provide economic resources to the so-called “revolutionary forces and the opposition” .
In these five years, the sanctions on Syria have helped destroy Syrian society condemning her to hunger, epidemics, poverty, and encouraging fundamentalist militia fighters and terrorist who also strike in Europe And add to that a war that has already resulted in 250,000 deaths, six million displaced and four million refugees.The situation in Syria is desperate. Food shortages, widespread unemployment, inaccessibility of medical care, rationing of drinking water, electricity. Not only that, the embargo makes it impossible for the Syrians who settled abroad before the war to send money to their relatives or family members left behind.
Non-governmental organizations engaged in assistance programs are unable to send money to their workers in Syria. Companies, power plants, aqueducts, hospital departments are forced to close because of the inability to procure spare parts or gasoline.Today the Syrians see the possibility of a better future for their families in running away from their land. But, as you see, this solution also involves many difficulties and causes intense controversy within the European Union. Exile cannot be the only solution that the international community knows how to propose to these poor people.
So we support all humanitarian initiatives and initiatives towards peace that the international community is implementing, in particular through the difficult negotiations in Geneva, but whole waiting and hoping for such expectations to find concrete answers after so many bitter disappointments, we ask that the sanctions that affect the daily life of every Syrian be immediately removed. The expectation of the longed-for peace can not be divorced from a concrete concern for those who today are suffering because of an embargo whose weight falls on an entire people.
That’s not all: rhetoric about refugees fleeing the Syrian war appears hypocritical if at the same time we continue to starve, prevent medical care, deny drinking water, work, security, and dignity to those who remain in Syria. So we turn to the parliamentarians and mayors of each country so that the iniquity of sanctions on Syria is made known to the citizens of the European Union (now totally unaware) and become, finally, the subject of a serious debate and consequent resolutions.
Father Georges Abou Khazen – Apostolic Vicar of the Latins in Aleppo
Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa – Emeritus Custos of the Holy Land
Father Joseph Tobji – Maronite Archbishop of Aleppo
Father Boutros Marayati- Armenian Bishop of Aleppo
Sisters of the Congregation of St. Joseph of the Hospital “Saint Louis,” Aleppo
The Trappist community in Syria
Dr. Nabil Antaki – M.D. in Aleppo, the Marist Brothers
Sisters of the Congregation of Perpetual Help – Center for children and orphans displaced, Marmarita
Father Firas Loufti – Franciscan Monsignor
Jean-Clément Jeanbart – greek-Catholic Archbishop of Aleppo
Monsignor Jacques Behnan Hindo – Syrian Catholic Bishop of Hassaké-Nisibi
Father Mtanios Haddad – Archimandrite of the Melkite Catholic Church and the patriarchal Attorney
Msgr. Hilarion Capucci – Archbishop Emeritus of greek-Melkite Catholic Church
S.B. Ignace Youssef III Younan, Patriarch of Antioch of the Syrians
Mgr.Georges Masri, Procurator to the Holy See of the Syro-Catholic Church
S.B. Gregory III Laham – Patriarch of the Melkites
Translation from Italian for Fort Russ by Tom Winter