By Mirembe Martina
Pope Francis wrote to Russian President Vladimir Putin on the Syrian issue which has caused over 1 million people to leave the country, more than 100,000 to be displaced and unspecified number of people to be killed by the Syrian government under President Assad.
Pope Francis wrote to President Putin for the G20 summit yesterday, Thursday and urged world leaders to “lay aside the futile pursuit of a military solution” in Syria. The United States and France are considering military action against Damascus in response to a chemical attack on August 21 that killed hundreds of people in the country.
The U.S. and French envoys were among some 70 envoys at Thursday’s meeting with Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, the Vatican’s foreign minister. “It is regrettable that, from the very beginning of the conflict in Syria, one-sided interests have prevailed and in fact hindered the search for a solution that would have avoided the senseless massacre now unfolding,” the pope said. “To the (G20) leaders present, to each and every one, I make a heartfelt appeal for them to help find ways to overcome the conflicting positions and to lay aside the futile pursuit of a military solution.”
He urged the international community to press for “a peaceful solution through dialogue and negotiation”. President Putin, who also happens to be the G20 host is trying to talk U.S. President, Barack Obama out of air strikes which are meant to punish President Bashar al-Assad for the chemical weapons attack. Assad’s government has denied responsibility on the attacks.