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Pope unusually urgent in call for peace in Caucasus: “It’s tragic”

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AFP

Kathleen N. Hattrup - published on 11/02/20

Francis reminds parties in conflict that violence won't resolve the problem, and calls for support of international community.

Pope Francis has already made various appeals for peace in the Caucasus, as conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh continues. On Sunday after praying the midday Angelus, he renewed his appeal.

On this feast day let us not forget what is happening in Nagorno-Karabakh where the armed clashes are taking place amid a fragile truce, with the tragic increase in victims, destruction of homes, buildings and places of worship, with an increasing massive involvement of the civil population. It’s tragic.

It’s unknown how many deaths have already occurred in the fighting, the worst in the area for more than 25 years, even if the situation in the disputed territory is always volatile.

Pope Francis assured his closeness to those suffering, and reminded that violence will never resolve the controversy.

I would like to renew my heartfelt appeal to the parties responsible in the conflict so that they intervene as soon as possible to stop the shedding of innocent blood. May they not think of using violence to resolve the controversy, but dedicate themselves to sincere negotiation with the help of the international community. On my part, I am near to all those who are suffering and I invite [everyone] to ask the intercession of the Saints for a stable peace in that region.

Nagorno-Karabakh has been recognized as part of Azerbaijan since a war over the region ended in 1994. However the area is majority Armenian and is controlled by a separatist Armenian group backed by the government.

Armenia is majority Christian and has close ties with Russia, while Azerbaijan is majority Muslim and has close ties with Turkey.


POPE AUDIENCE

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SHUSHA CATHEDRAL KARABAKH

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Armenian cathedral is severely damaged in conflict with Azerbaijan

Tags:
PoliticsPope Francis
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