Voices from Russia

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Christian Leaders Urge Churches to Mobilise Behind Syria Peace Plan

00 Give Peace a Chance. atomic fireball. 21.09.13


On Thursday, the World Council of Churches (WCC) urged its Protestant, Orthodox, and Anglican member churches to lobby their congregations and national governments to support a political solution to the war in Syria. The Genève-based WCC made the appeal after a meeting with international envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi and former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who both asked Christian leaders to help mobilise public opinion for peace. The appeal by the WCC, representing about a quarter of the world’s 2.2 billion Christians, follows similar calls by the Roman Catholic Church, which makes up over half of global Christianity. A WCC communiqué released after a meeting near Genève on Wednesday said, “Churches must continue to raise their voice in their congregations and with their governments. We must strengthen the public outcry so that those in power will protect the common interest of humanity”. WCC General Secretary Rev Olaf Fyske Tveit told Reuters that there was “consensus in the whole Christian family” for a negotiated peace in Syria, and Brahimi and Annan convinced church leaders it could happen “if there’s enough political support”.

21 September 2013


As quoted in AsiaOne



Thursday, 25 October 2012

Putin Sent Greetings to Muslims on Eid al-Adha


On Thursday, the Kremlin press service reported that President Vladimir Putin sent his greetings to Muslims on Eid al-Adha, which begins on Thursday and continues through the weekend. Putin wrote, “Over the centuries this holiday brought the brightest and most gracious feelings. It brings people closer, affirms the ideals of kindness, compassion, and respect, and reveals the depth of the timeless spiritual values of Islam”. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov offered the more specific wish for a ceasefire in Syria throughout the holiday period. After meeting with his Swiss counterpart, Didier Burkhalter, Lavrov said, “I very much expect that the attempts to organise a truce that are currently underway will succeed”.

The UN/Arab League special envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, called Syrian government forces and rebels to agree a truce throughout Eid al-Adha. On Wednesday, the Syrian government said that it agreed the proposal and some members of the armed opposition also responded positively. Speaking about his talks with Burkhalter, Lavrov said, “We’re convinced that there can only be a political solution to the [Syrian] crisis and that the sooner the violence ends and a dialogue without preconditions begins, the more hope all of us will have for exiting the crisis with the least harm done”.

Eid al-Adha, the Festival of Sacrifice, comes the day after pilgrims making the Hajj to Mecca in Saudi Arabia descend from Mount Arafat. It commemorates the Prophet Ibrahim‘s readiness to sacrifice his first-born son Ishmael. Nowadays, the holiday celebrates commitment, obedience, and self-sacrifice in the name of Allah. As a symbol of Ibrahim’s sacrifice, all Muslims who can afford it must slaughter a sheep or cow and distribute its meat equally among members of their family, friends, and the poor.

25 October 2012



Monday, 3 September 2012

UN Envoy to Syria Sez Invasion or Military Intervention Not in the Cards


On Sunday, Lakhdar Brahimi, the new UN envoy to war-torn Syria, said that a military intervention by Arab forces isn’t in the cards. Brahimi said in an interview to al Arabiya television, “A military intervention in Syria means a failure of diplomatic efforts. For me, this option isn’t available, and, personally, this will be neither today nor tomorrow nor the day after tomorrow”. The 78-year-old diplomat called for a ceasefire in the conflict, which has claimed 25,000 lives since March 2011, according to UN estimates. Brahimi avoided apportioning blame, but said, “The government’s responsibility to stop the violence is greater” than that of the opposition.

Sunday marks the first day at the job for Brahimi, a former Algerian Foreign Minister, and a member of the Global Elders, a group of ex-world leaders and prominent public figures brought together by Nelson Mandela in 2007 to tackle various global issues. Brahimi replaced Kofi Annan, a former UN Secretary General who introduced a peace plan for Syria in February that Russia signed off on, but both the Syrian government and the opposition ignored it. The Arab League, a regional organisation comprised mostly of Syria’s opponents, repeatedly blamed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for the conflict and urged him to step down.

2 September 2012



Blog at WordPress.com.