Pope appeals to international community for truce in Syria

Pope Francis

 VATICAN CITY -- In his New Year’s address to diplomatic corps Monday, Pope Francis made a serious appeal to ambassadors and the international community for a truce in Syria.

 The pontiff said he “was calling out to the international community so that it would diligently strive to give life to a serious accord, that would put an end forever to the conflict that is provoking a real humanitarian disaster.”

 “Each and every one of the parties involved must maintain the respect for international humanitarian rights as their priority, guaranteeing the protection of civilians and the necessary humanitarian assistance to the population,” continued Francis, saying he wanted this truce to be the hope for the entire Syrian people. 

 He also talked about the need for dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians, in order to find a stable solution for peaceful coexistence.

 The Argentine pope also renewed his condemnation of the “deplorable arms trade and the continuous race to circulate ever more sophisticated weapons.”

 He talked about the “worrying” experiments going on in the Korean peninsula, “that destabilize the entire region and pose many worrying questions to the entire international community about the risk of a new nuclear weapon race.”

 “In view of the next Conference on disarmament, the Holy See will promote an ethics of peace and security that goes beyond the fear and ‘closure’ that condition the debate on nuclear weapons.”

 On a “crumbling” Europe, Francis reaffirmed the Holy See’s “interest and worry for Europe and its future.” “The whole of Europe is living through a decisive moment in its history, in which it is called upon to find its own identity again.”

 “It is very urgent to update the ‘idea of Europe’ to give light to a new humanism based on the capacity of integration, dialogue and generation.”

 The head of the Holy See also talked about immigration, religious fundamentalism, terrorism, and the role of education in preventing radicalization.

 Living through the current worldwide political climate, the pope called on the diplomatic corps to propagate a “politics of peace” and “non-violence.”