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Bishop calls for cooperation in Syria

Following the chemical attack in Idlib, Syria on Tuesday 4th April, the Bishop of Coventry, the Right Reverend Dr Christopher Cocksworth, called for international cooperation in Syria.

In a comment for The Church Times, Bishop Christopher said;

"Whenever we think that the hell into which Syria descended when violence — as it almost always does — spiralled out of control can get no deeper and darker, it does,” he said.

“Our prayer for Syria and Iraq to be delivered from evil needs to be accompanied by heroic international cooperation involving immediate efforts for peace, urgent humanitarian support for refugees in the region and long term commitment to justice for victims and the reconstruction of society.

"The scale of Syria’s suffering will demand massive, costly and lasting action to rebuild the country by every power that has been party to this horrendous conflict. Only that will cleanse the land of the chemicals that have killed its people."

Last year, Bishop Christopher led a House of Lords debate on a political solution in Syria, in which he urged the Government to explore ideas for gradually devolving political power in Syria, both from Assad to a newly formed Government and from Damascus to the regions.

"Western Governments, including our own, have rightly accepted that sudden and violent regime change in Damascus cannot be made into the condition for peace, but we have yet to see a corresponding shift in the narrative over Assad’s future,” he said, at that time.

“We need to accept that there is no viable opposition Government-in-waiting in Syria and little prospect of creating a unitary Government out of the myriad opposition groups. Other ways of resolving this impasse must be found."

To read the full article in The Church Times click here.

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