Pope Francis, World Council of Churches reiterate call for Syria political solution

(Photo: © UNHCR)Syrian women and children recently displaced from East Aleppo take shelter at the nearby Al-Mahalij industrial zone in late 2016.

The World Council of Churches has joined Pope Francis urged the international community to find a way to break the cycle of violence in Syria calling for a just and sustainable peace through a political solution.

The April 16 statement came two days after the United States, France and the UK carried out missile strikes following a suspected Syrian government chemical weapons attack.

"A just and sustainable peace for all Syrians can only be brought about through a political solution," the WCC statement reads.

"It is intolerable that atrocities are still being perpetrated against civilians."

Pope Francis had the day before in his Sunday balcony words at St, Peter's said, "I am deeply troubled by the current world situation," the Pope said, "in which, despite the instruments available to the international community, there is still difficulty in agreeing to a common action in favor of peace in Syria and other regions of the world."

Francis said, "While I continue to pray unceasingly for peace, and invite all people of good will to do the same, I renew my appeal to all those with political responsibilities to ensure that justice and peace prevail."

Two days earlier on April 14, the patriarchs of for the Greek Orthodox, Syriac Orthodox, and Greek-Melkite Catholic Churches condemned the airstrikes on Syria.

According to the statement the patriarchs "condemn and denounce the brutal aggression that took place this morning against our precious country Syria by the USA, France and the UK, under the allegations that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons."

The patriarchs said the airstrikes are a "brutal aggression" and "a clear violation of the international laws and the UN Charter."

They said it was an assault on a sovereign country and member of the UN and it was unjustified.

Their statement also says that such aggression would "destroy the chances for a peaceful political solution and lead to escalation and more complications, while encouraging terrorist organizations and giving them momentum to continue in their terrorism."

In its statement the WCC noted that the U.N. Security Council has repeatedly failed to adopt sufficiently strong and consistent measures to put an end to atrocities in Syria.

The UNSC it said has failed to implement a durable ceasefire, to ensure respect "for international law and accountability for all those who have committed war crimes and crimes against humanity, including the use of chemical weapons."

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