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Bishop calls for ceasefire in Syria

Following the escalation of violence over the last week in Syria - with some reports suggesting that a life has been lost every 25 minutes – non- government organisations and faith groups have published a letter to President Barack Obama and President Vladimir Putin calling on them to save the Cessation of Hostilities agreement.

The Cessation of Hostilities agreement was issued by the United States of America and the Russian Federation in February.  The agreement called for the Syrian government and opposition fighters to halt attacks and implement a U.N. roadmap for peace. However, in the past week this agreement has begun to fray as civilians have been killed in numerous strikes, including attacks on hospitals and rescue workers.

Over 100 international non-government organisations and faith groups have signed the statement which urges the two presidents to "heed the call of the UN Special Envoy to Syria to take urgent steps to rescue Syria’s cessation of hostilities and end attacks on civilians."

As a signatory of the letter the Bishop of Coventry, the Right Reverend Dr Christopher Cocksworth, has also said that:

"The destruction of cities through aerial bombardment is a great evil. The bombing of hospitals and schools, and the killing of innocent people are acts of wickedness that war can never justify. My own city of Coventry suffered them in the last century. Syrian cities must be saved from the total collapse of civil life now. Restoring the ceasefire is both an urgent humanitarian need and an absolute moral imperative."