Istanbul - Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople welcomes the appeal of the "brother in Christ, Francis Pope" to pray and fast for peace in Syria, asking also international leaders gathered in St. Petersburg for the G20 summit to promote a negotiating solution and not a military intervention with regards to the Syrian conflict.
"The Ecumenical Patriarchate and us personally - says a note sent to Fides Agency - are anxiously following the developments of the situation in Syria and, more generally, throughout the Middle East. Let us pray that peace prevails. Only peace will also allow the Christians of the Middle East to continue to live without any impediment in those lands where they were born".
The Ecumenical Patriarch, to the participants at the G20 summit being held in St. Petersburg, hopes "that the decisions taken there help promote a peaceful solution to the Syrian conflict".
Also - reads the statement issued by the Patriarch, "the Church of Constantinople welcomes the initiative promoted by the Bishop of Rome Francis to appeal to Christians of the whole world so that next Saturday they all join in prayer and fasting, to ask that peace prevails in the martyred land of Syria, in the hope that God may enlighten the minds of policy makers, and thus military action is avoided that would inevitably result in the death of innocent victims".
"We, too, - concluded the Ecumenical Patriarch – welcome the appeal of our brother in Christ, Pope Francis to pray next Saturday for the same intention, as we always have done since the beginning of the bloody conflict in Syria".