Pope Francis appeals for honest and transparent dialogue to solve the current military crisis in northeast Syria. Also he says he is concerned by the social unrest in Ecuador and calls for peace and attention towards the most vulnerable.
Pope Francis on Sunday renewed his appeal to all parties involved in the current military offensive in northeast Syria and to the International Community to “sincerely engage, with honesty and transparency, on the path of dialogue in order to seek effective solutions.”
Speaking during the Angelus after the Canonization Mass in St. Peter’s Square, the Pope said his thoughts go, “once again” to the Middle East, “in particular to the beloved and martyred Syria, from where dramatic news is emerging once again regarding the fate of the people in the north-east of the country, who are forced to abandon their homes because of military action”.
He was referring to the Turkish assault on Syrian territory held by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces.
The Turkish offensive is now in its fifth day. More than 50 civilians have reportedly been killed on both sides of the border and some 130,000 people have already fled their homes,
Pope Francis noted that amongst those fleeing the violence “ there are also many Christian families”.
Pope calls for peace and respect for human rights in Ecuador
Pope Francis on Sunday said he is following with concern the socio-political unrest in Ecuador, and he encouraged those involved to “seek social peace, with particular attention towards the most vulnerable and with respect for human rights”.
Speaking before the Angelus, the Pope said that together with all the members of the ongoing Synod of Bishops for the Amazon Region, and especially with those from Ecuador, “I am following with concern what has been happening in that country in recent weeks”.
Saying that he “joins in sorrow for the dead and the wounded, he asked for prayers and said he entrusts the nation to the intercession of the Saints just canonized during Mass in St. Peter’s Square.
At least 5 people have died in Ecuador since protests began 10 days ago and dozens have been wounded and arrested.
Government representatives and the country’s indigenous groups are to hold their first direct talks on Sunday in a bid to end the violence.
Protesters are demanding the return of fuel subsidies which the government scrapped as part of austerity measures.