17 February 2015
Efforts for peace encouraged
Fighting is continuing in eastern Ukraine while a fragile ceasefire is in place.
Quakers in Britain have welcomed the work of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President François Hollande in helping to broker a ceasefire agreement in Ukraine.
In a private letter to Philip Hammond, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, the signatories, from churches and church organisations,expressed concern that the further build-up of weapons and use of aggressive language might propel Europe into a wider conflict with unknown and dangerous consequences. The signatories called on the governments of France, Germany and UK to ensure that every effort be made to demilitarise the crisis.
Looking forward, the letter stated that “Humanitarian aid and other confidence-building measures are likely to be crucial to the process of rebuilding confidence in a united and diverse state that can satisfy the interests of all its citizens.”
Letters of support have been sent by Quakers and other churches and church organisations to the German chancellor and French president.