WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit. ©Ivars Kupcis/WCC

WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit. ©Ivars Kupcis/WCC

Responding to overnight missile attacks on a Syrian air force base by U.S. forces, World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit on 7 April urged all parties in the conflict to cease hostilities and commit to peaceful negotiations toward a transitional governance within the framework of international law.

The U.S. missile attacks were launched in response to bombings, attributed to the Syrian air force, using chemical agents and killing dozens of civilians in the Syrian province of Idlib.

“As we have stressed time and time again, there is no military solution to the situation in Syria,” said Tveit, “and the only path to peace for this devastated country is through nonviolent action and peaceful dialogue among the parties to the conflict. Two wrongs—the bombing of civilians with chemical weapons and retaliation with further bombing— do not make a right.

“They do not advance the interests of the Syrian people, who have already suffered so much; nor do they pave the way for a future of peace,” he said.

Tveit earlier urged the UN Security Council to put an end to the impunity of the warring parties by investigating their crimes and establishing mechanisms to ensure that all those responsible are held accountable.

“Now, in light of this unilateral response by the U.S. and the risk of this already disastrous conflict escalating and spreading regionally and internationally, I call urgently on the UN Security Council to fulfil its unique collective responsibility for promoting peace and security for all.”

“And I call on all Christians and all people of faith around the world” he added, “to join together in prayer for peace and an end to conflict and bloodshed in Syria.”

WCC urges end to “culture of impunity” in Syria WCC press release 6 April, 2017