DAMASCUS – French Senate member, Head of the Senate’s French-Syrian Friendship Committee, Jean-Pierre Vial and member of the French Senate and Mayor of the city of Laval, François Zocchetto visited His Grace Bishop Armash Nalbandian, Primate of the Armenian Church Diocese of Damascus. Bishop Armash enlightened the Senators of the situation of Armenians living in Syria in general and particularly in cities of Damascus and Aleppo, in spite of the crisis taking place in the country.

Bishop Nalbandian stressed that Armenians are deeply rooted in their homeland, Syria, and they are part and parcel of the Syrian people, as they wish that the solution to the crisis should be comprehensive- not restricted to particular cities.

He added that Turkey has played an aggressive role in the Syrian crisis, opening its borders to foreign terrorist organizations that have attacked various peaceful cities such as the predominately Armenian city of Kessab, reminiscent to the events of their Ottoman predecessors 100 years ago.

“A lot of innocent people in Damascus have been killed in almost daily terrorist attacks with rocket and mortar shells,” Bishop Nalbandian said, adding that the Church was targeted twice last year leaving many children dead.

Senator Vial stressed that the delegation’s visit to Syria is very important, visiting makeshift centers, international organizations, schools, clergymen, hospitals in addition to visiting a number of Syrian officials, confirms that Syria has always been a place for all sects and it is exemplary for the co-existence and tolerance among its people.

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