The Church in Wales is calling for concerted diplomatic action rather than an escalation of violence in response to the suspected chemical attack in Syria.
At the meeting of its Governing Body an emergency motion passed stating; ‘It notes with alarm the return to the international agenda of the possibility of heavy bombardment and violent intervention in the situation in Syria.’
The motion goes on to state, ‘While condemning the use of chemical weapons, is mindful of the complexities of the situation which rule out simplistic answers.
Call upon the UK Government to prioritise concerted diplomatic action to secure more peaceful and consensual international responses rather than an escalation of violence.’
The Bishop of St Asaph, Gregory Cameron, who brought the motion, said:
“I am delighted that Governing Body is able to add its voice to this important issue to call for peace and justice in the Middle East.
The situation is deeply complex but a rush to flex military muscles is not, in my opinion, a wise reaction. We are asking all Christians and people of faith to hold Syria in their prayers at this tense time.”
Reports say over 40 people including children were killed and up to 500 have shown “signs and symptoms consistent with exposure to toxic chemicals” following an alleged chemical of the formerly rebel-held town of Douma, Eastern Ghouta.
PM Theresa May has said “all the indications” are that the Syrian regime of president Bashar al-Assad, which denies mounting a chemical attack, was responsible for the suspected attack.
Cabinet ministers have agreed “on the need to take action” in Syria to “deter the further use of chemical weapons”, Downing Street, a spokesperson also said last night;
“The Prime Minister spoke to President Trump about Syria this evening.
They agreed that the Assad regime had established a pattern of dangerous behaviour in relation to the use of chemical weapons.
They agreed it was vital that the use of chemical weapons did not go unchallenged, and on the need to deter the further use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime.
They agreed to keep working closely together on the international response.”
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has said further UK military intervention in Syria’s “appalling multi-sided war risks escalating an already devastating conflict.”
He also said: “The government appears to be waiting for instructions from President Donald Trump on how to proceed. But the US administration is giving alarmingly contradictory signals.”
“Rather than further military action, what is urgently needed is a coordinated international drive to achieve a ceasefire and a negotiated settlement under UN auspices. The humanitarian priority must be to halt the killing on all sides.”