Anglicans meet with Assad in Damascus

The Syrian state news agency reports a delegation of British political and church leaders have met with President Bashar al-Assad last Sunday in Damascus. On 4 Sept 2016 the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reported the former Bishop of Rochester, the Rt. Rev. Michael Nazir Ali, the Rev. Andrew Ashdown, Baroness Cox, Lord Hylton and other parliamentarians and academics met with the Syrian president to discuss the country’s civil war and refugee crisis. The delegation, which is still in Syria as of our going to press, has not released a report on its trip, but the state news agency reported President Assad criticized Western government policies and media coverage of the conflict. SANA said President Assad “affirmed that the gravest danger facing the world now is that of the extremist mentality pervading the societies inside the region and beyond. This mentality, the President said, is the underpinning of terrorism that has started recently to strike in many areas inside Europe and the Western countries in general. He made it clear that in order to eliminate terrorism, one needs not only fighting it on the ground, but also confronting the ideology underlying it, which just knows no borders.”

 
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