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Pope praying for those facing pandemic and war at the same time

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Francis urges those involved in Armenia and Azerbaijan conflict to dialogue and good will

On July 19 after praying the midday Angelus, Pope Francis spoke about how the “pandemic shows no signs of coming to an end,” and assured his prayers especially for those people who have to battle the pandemic while simultaneously dealing with war and conflict.

He reiterated his earlier call — also made by the United Nations — for a ceasefire, so that countries can focus on containing the virus.

Specifically, the Holy Father mentioned the resurgence in tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan, where some 20 people were killed in clashes. Both sides blame the other for restarting the conflict.

Here is the pope’s appeal:

In this time in which the pandemic shows no signs of coming to an end, I want to assure my nearness to all those suffering from the illness and its economic and social repercussions. My thought goes out especially to the populations whose sufferings are heightened due to situations of conflict. On the basis of a recent United Nations resolution, I renew the appeal for a global and immediate cease fire that would allow the peace and safety that are indispensable in order to provide the necessary humanitarian assistance.

In particular, I am following and am concerned about the renewed armed tensions in the past few days in the Caucasus region between Armenia and Azerbaijan. While I assure my prayers to the families of those who have lost their lives during the clashes, I hope that, with the dedication of the international community, and through dialogue and good will, there may be a lasting peaceful solution for the good of those beloved peoples.

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