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RUSSIAN PATRIARCH RIPS US, BRITISH WAR CONDUCT, ASKS UN INTERVENTION
Catholic World News Brief, 3/26/2003
Russia - In a message to Kofi Annan, the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church has charged that American and British forces are creating a "humanitarian catastrophe" in Iraq, and urged the UN secretary general to intervene to stop the war.
The message from Patriarch Alexei II contained a highly inflamed view of the war: "Cities and towns are burning, civilians are dying, and innocent children, women and old people are suffering. Millions of people have been left without a roof over their heads and deprived of proper conditions of life." The Russian prelate also charged that "not one of the accusations that provoked the war has proved true to date."

In his letter, which indicated clear sympathies for Iraq, Patriarch Alexei said that the UN "enjoys credit in the region, as the actions of the Iraqi government before the war showed." He did not explain why the Iraqi government refused to comply with UN disarmament demands.

The Patriarch asked Annan for "timely interference" by the UN "to stop bloodshed and re-establish the violated world order."
© Catholic World News Brief