Global Ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and United Church of Christ joined in sending a letter to President Donald Trump regarding his recent announcement that US troops would withdraw from Syria. The letter, sent on April 10, supported the decision, but added that the root causes of insecurity, negotiations involving all parties, as well as the provision of generous humanitarian and reconstruction support, are necessary. The full text of the letter follows below.
President Donald J. Trump
The White House
Washington, D.C. 20500
April 10, 2019
Dear President Trump,
As faith-based denominations and organizations, some of whom are engaged in providing humanitarian assistance for displaced Syrians and supporting peacebuilding efforts within Syria, we are writing in support of your decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria. We urge you to take steps toward a complete withdrawal of U.S. troops, while addressing the root causes of insecurity in the region, engaging robustly in diplomatic negotiations, and providing humanitarian and reconstruction assistance.
Because we firmly believe there is no effective military solution for dealing with the region’s complex security issues and protracted crises we support the withdrawal of all foreign troops from Syria, including U.S. forces. Based on our experience in the region, we believe the best way to ensure that ISIS and other extremist groups do not reemerge is to address the underlying drivers of insecurity, through support for community-based initiatives that prevent and resolve conflict and increase social cohesion.
Furthermore, we urge the U.S. government to engage fully in diplomatic efforts to reach a negotiated solution to the Syria crisis. In order to be effective, these negotiations must involve all parties who are active in the conflict. As part of these negotiations, we urge you to support a robust and inclusive process for Syrian men and women to develop a new constitution that respects the rights of all Syrians.
We remain deeply concerned by the dire humanitarian situation faced by Syrians, with as many as 13 million people still in need of emergency assistance, more than 6 million people displaced internally, and more than 3.6 million people registered as refugees outside of Syria. In the year ahead, it will be vital to maintain emergency assistance, while also investing in early recovery activities such as livelihoods projects.
At the same time, the well-being of Syria’s people and the future stability of the region depend on rebuilding the country which has been devastated by war. Rather than withholding reconstruction funding and seeking to impose sanctions on countries that provide reconstruction funding, the U.S. should recognize the importance of helping the people of Syria rebuild.
In sum, we urge you to pursue a complete withdrawal of U.S. troops, while also taking steps to address the deep-seated political, social, and economic grievances at the root of the crisis in Syria, including, but not limited to, ISIS.
Thank you for your attention to our concerns.
Global Ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and United Church of Christ
Mennonite Central Committee U.S. Washington Office
Office of Peacebuilding and Policy, Church of the Brethren
Pax Christi International
Presbyterian Church (USA)
United Church of Christ, Justice and Witness Ministries