Pope Francis sent a letter to the president of Syria, Bashar Assad, in which he said that he was deeply alarmed by the humanitarian situation in the country, especially in Idlib, said the Holy father. Said spokesman Matteo Bruni.
The papal message was delivered in Damascus to Assad, the prefect of the Dicastery (department of the Roman Curia) for the Integral Human Development Service, Cardinal Peter Turkson, and the apostolic rep in Syria, Cardinal Mario Zenari.
“His Holiness, Pope Francis, expresses in the letter a deep concern about the humanitarian situation in Syria and commented especially on the dramatic conditions in which the civilian population of Idlib lives,” he said.
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Commenting on the pontifical message, the Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, said that the pope continues to be alarmed by the continuation and the fighting in Syria, having tragic consequences for the entire civil population and especially for children.
“Pope Francis urges once again to defend the lives of civilians and conserve basic infrastructure facilities such as schools and hospitals, and asks the president to do everything possible to stop this humanitarian catastrophe,” Parolin said in an interview with the Vatican.
At the same time, he stressed that the papal initiative is not political but humanitarian.
Francis asks Assad to take concrete steps to achieve an armistice, create the conditions for the repatriation of refugees, release the prisoners and allow their relatives to have access to information about their well being.
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Syria has been involved since March 2011, in a conflict, in which government forces are confronted by armed opposition factions and terrorist groups.
In September 2018, the presidents of Russia and Turkey, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, signed in the Russian city of Sochi a memorandum aimed at resolving the situation in Idlib, where groups were fighting against the Syrian Government who refused to lay down their weapons.
In the province of Idlib, there are more than a dozen different armed groups, the biggest of them having an alliance with rebel groups of the National Liberation Front and the terrorist group Frente al Nusra (also known as Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, banned in Russia) ).