Patriarch: negotiations for Syrian nuns’ release have ‘stumbled’; new video released
February 13, 2014
The patriarch of the Maronite Catholic Church said that the release of a dozen kidnapped Syrian nuns appeared imminent until recently.
In December, Syrian rebel forces abducted the nuns from the Greek Orthodox monastery of Mar Taqla in the historic Christian village of Ma’loula, whose residents still speak Aramaic.
“We have made multiple contacts with several international sides, and the nuns’ release was imminent, but the issue stumbled again,” said Cardinal Béchara Boutros Raï, according to a report in the Beirut-based Daily Star.
Adding that “the nuns’ detention is a disgrace to the world,” Cardinal Raï called upon nations “that are either eager for a Syria war or to talk peace in Syria” to work for the nuns’ release.
The patriarch’s February 11 remarks came two days after the Al Jazeera television network broadcast a new video in which the nuns appeared.
“They say they are in good health, haven’t been mistreated... and they are waiting for their release to return to the convent,” a commentator said, according to an Agence France-Presse report.
- Efforts to release Maaloula nuns hit hurdle: Rai (Daily Star)
- Syria nuns taken from Maalula in new video: Al-Jazeera (AFP)
- Missing Syrian nuns appear in video (CWN, 12/9)