MIDDLE EAST – Pope’s envoy says peace stifled by lack of ‘political will’
Archbishop Alberto Ortega, the Pope’s Apostolic Nuncio in Iraq and Jordan, stated that in order for current conflicts destroying much of the Middle East to come to an end, “there is first of all the political will …. If the international community, if they really want to make peace, to promote peace, they can engage more intensively and to reach the agreements necessary to reach peace.”
Mgr Ortega stressed the importance of dialogue but said that for dialogue to succeed we must “put aside personal interests or the interests of a group or of a country, (and) put in the center the attention to the people, to every single person, because behind all these numbers…there are concrete people with a face and a family.”
He said Christians can play a “very important role” among strong feelings of mistrust and betrayal as a result of the drawn-out humanitarian crisis by acting as a sign of reconciliation where political efforts continue to fall short.
“Even if as a number they are a minority, they can play a very important role as wielders of reconciliation, of peace, of unity, as they have done in the past,” he said, adding that “they have always been a factor of stability and a factor of development in the country.”
The Archbishop spoke about how each person can work to overcome the general attitude of mistrust that has developed in the region, explaining that peace can and must be achieved at both a political and individual level.
Learning to trust again is a big challenge but it is the only way he believes. “In this aspect, in this Year of Mercy, mercy is the solution to the problems. Because after so many years of tensions, of conflicts, you need to move forward and the only way is to forgive. At the end, mercy is the only way to reconciliation.”
Political will is important because if the international community really wants to promote peace, they can engage more intensively to reach the agreements necessary for peace. Dialogue is so important, and the need to put aside personal interests or the interests of a group or of a country.
Mgr Ortega declared that more attention should be focussed on the people, on every single person, because behind all these numbers of people suffering, there are real people with a face and a family, and every one of them is important. He believes if we put people in the main point of reference, it would not be so difficult to reach an agreement to obtain peace and stability.