UN mission in Ukraine has no powers to assess situation in Crimea, diplomats noteWorld September 25, 21:11
Gentlefan continues: Manchester United fans to get raincoats ahead of encounter with CSKASport September 25, 20:30
US-led coalition denies charges of US units leading Syrian 'opposition' through IS linesWorld September 25, 18:49
Supplies of S-400 systems to Turkey may begin within two yearsMilitary & Defense September 25, 18:14
Ukraine involved in illegal arms deliveries to South Sudan — Amnesty InternationalWorld September 25, 18:01
Russian general's death in Syria result of US double-dealing in war on terror — diplomatRussian Politics & Diplomacy September 25, 17:42
Russia's top diplomat says conditions in Syria ripe for defeating terroristsRussian Politics & Diplomacy September 25, 17:07
Russian envoy notes US actions in Syria as Washington's true colors on anti-terror policyRussian Politics & Diplomacy September 25, 17:00
Economy minister believes new technologies will drive Russia’s economyBusiness & Economy September 25, 16:50
STRASBOURG, January 16. /ITAR-TASS/. The Russia-EU Parliamentary Cooperation Committee demanded Christian clergymen, who were seized by Islamists in Syria, should be immediately released and the warring parties should protect religious minorities - Shi’ites, Alawi, Druzes, Kurds and Christians.
A statement to this effect has been made by the Committee’s members at the 16th European Parliament plenary session.
“We demand the armed opposition, which acts near the areas of Christians’ settlement, should not attack the peaceful population, not desecrate and not destroy sacred places and relics on the territory of Al Kalamoon where the most ancient Christian monasteries and churches are located in the settlements of Ma’loula and Saidnaya ,” parliamentarians said.
In their view, Islamists, who attack clergymen, want “to stir up ethnic and confessional discord and expel Christians from Syria”.
Parliamentarians urged rebels to free nuns and noviciates of the Orthodox Church of Saint Fyokla Equal to the Apostles and Reverend Mother Pelageya, Italian clergyman Paolo Dall’Oglio, Orthodox bishops - Johanna Ibrahim and Boulos Yaziji.
The deportation of Christians from Syria is very dangerous and can lead to new dividing lines, parliamentarians said.
Commenting on the results of the session, the Committee-co-chairman, deputy speaker of the Russian State Duma, lower house of parliament, Sergei Zheleznyak, told Itar-Tass that despite tense discussions and different points of view, “parliamentarians succeeded in reaching agreement on the protection of Christian and religious minorities in Syria”.
“This proves our readiness to find solutions to the problems, which are critical for people’s life and condition and which prevent humanitarian catastrophes. This is supported by Russia and the European Parliament regardless the disagreements,” Zheleznyak said.
Member of the Russian delegation, deputy chairman of the Russian Federation Council Foreign Relations Committee Andrei Klimov told Itar-Tass that the Committee’s statement on Syria was a precedent.
“When such events happen and when people start taking such actions by covering by any religious terms of course, such tragedy causes damage to civilization,” he said.