News Release

Northern Ireland Nobel Peace Laureate Just Back from Syria

As G8 leaders, including Presidents Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin meet in Northern Ireland and vie over Syria, Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Maguire, who has done peace work based in Northern Ireland for decades, is protesting their policies.

MAIREAD MAGUIRE, mairead.home at
Back in her native Northern Ireland, Maguire recently returned from leading a peace delegation to Syria. She wrote after the trip: “An appeal to end all violence and for Syrians to be left alone from outside interference was made by all those we met during our visit to Syria. … During our visit we went to refugee camps, affected communities, met religious leaders, combatants, government representatives, opposition delegations and many others, perpetrators and victims, in Lebanon and Syria. …

“The Syrian State and its population are under a proxy war led by foreign countries and directly financed and backed mainly by Qatar which has imposed its views on the Arab League. Turkey, a part of the Lebanese opposition and some of the Jordan authorities offer a safe haven to a diversity of jihadist groups, each with its own agenda, recruited from many countries. Bands of jihadists armed and financed from foreign countries invade Syria through Turkey, Jordan, and Lebanon’s porous frontiers in an effort to destabilize Syria. …

“In Syria memories of next door Iraq’s destruction by US/UK/NATO forces are fresh in people’s minds, including in the minds of the one and a half million Iraqis who fled Iraqi’s conflict, including many Christians, and were given refuge in Syria by the Syrian Government.

“The greatest hope we took was from Mussalaha, a non-political movement from all sections of Syrian society, who has working teams throughout Syria and is proceeding through dialogue to building peace and reconciliation. Mussalaha mediates between armed gunmen and security forces, help get release of many people who have been abducted, and bring together all parties to the conflict for dialogue and practical solutions.”