Eastern patriarchs appeal for ‘true peace’ in Nagorno-Karabakh

They express "solidarity" with their Armenian brothers, “wounded in their dignity and suffering from the consequences of the war with Azerbaijan". Stressing the need for “justice and fairness" for both sides, the Christian leaders urge their dioceses, parishes and convents to respect government regulations on COVID-19.

By Fady Noun for AsiaNews, Beirut (13 November 2020) – Armenia and Azerbaijan recently signed an agreement to end the war in Nagorno-Karabakh, a predominantly Armenian region which has been fighting for independence from Azerbaijan for years.

For analysts and experts, the outcome is a defeat for Armenia and a strategic victory for Turkey and its president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who will thus be able to enter directly into the South Caucasus as a major player.

The Eastern Catholic Patriarchs addressed the matter at their meeting at Maronite see in Bkerké. At the end of their assembly, they issued a statement.

Meeting at the Maronite patriarchal seat in Bkerké, the Assembly of Catholic Patriarchs and Bishops in Lebanon expressed “its solidarity with the Armenian brothers of Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia, wounded in their dignity and suffering from the consequences of the war with Azerbaijan.”

The show of solidarity was endorsed by Patriarchs Bechara al-Rahi (Maronite), Youssef Absi (Greek Catholic), Ignatius Joseph III Younan (Syriac Catholic) and Krikor Bedros XX (Armenian Catholic).

The statement released at the end of the meeting states:

“How many times have we condemned this war [. . .]

“How many times have we not asked the concerned parties and the international community to settle the controversial issues by peaceful and diplomatic ways!

“How many times have we prayed for this goal and for a ceasefire on both sides! So now we appeal to the UN and the Security Council to put an end to this dispute [. . .].

“The region needs real peace based on justice and equity for both sides. We renew our trust in the wisdom and unity of the Armenian people, and we pray to God to support them in their ordeal.”

The patriarchs also called on dioceses, parishes and convents under their respective jurisdictions to follow the instructions of the Lebanese government in terms of containment and the fight against COVID-19.

Originally published by AsiaNews on 13 November 2020. See the original here