President Bashar al-Assad received on Sunday participants in “the general assembly for the Syriac Youth in Syria 2017” in the presence of Patriarch of Antioch and All the East for Syriac Orthodox Mor Ignatius Aphrem II and a number of patriarchs.
During the meeting, discussions centered on the role of the youth generations in building the future of Syria and the importance of boosting dialogue that will be consolidated by such meetings.
The meeting also dealt with the necessity of the Christian existence in Syria, in general, and the Syriac presence, in particular, as they are a basic element in the Syrian national structure with assertion on their deeply-rooted role in the face of the continued displacement attempts they have encountered by terrorism and its supporters.
President al-Assad affirmed that such forums send a clear message to the inside and outside that the Christians are not guests or emigrant birds, but they are the basis of the homeland’s existence, and without them, there is no existence for the diverse Syria that we know, at the same time, the Christians without Syria have no land or existence for them.
The President said that the power of the Oriental Christians comes from their living with other religions in our region, and in Syria, for centuries, as Syria is a homogeneous country, a thing that made some sides target Christianity in our region in order to disturb this harmony and divide the region into religious and sectarian states in order to legalize the existence of the Jewish state in the occupied Palestine, a matter that will not be accepted by any Syrian.
President al-Assad added that the failure of attempts to exert pressure on the Christians pushed our enemies to target them through targeting Islam by extremism, in a bid to produce an extremist mentality that can never live with any other that doesn’t adopt the same mentality, but we, as Syrians, have not and will never allow anyone to sabotage our country by his underdevelopment or his limited vision.
Patriarch Aphrem II, for his part, affirmed that one of the main targets of the Assembly is to boost dialogue among different spectrums of the Syrian society and face the propaganda marketed by enemies of Syria that what is going on in the country is “a civil war,” adding that Christians in Syria are committed to their land.
The youth participants talked about a number of issues which focused on the situation in Syria and the role of the youth in boosting it steadfastness.