Pope urges international diplomatic push on N. Korea, Syria
(5 months ago)
Vatican City, Jan 8 : Pope Francis on Monday appealed for international efforts towards dialogue on the Korean peninsula, Syria and other world flashpoints in a wide-ranging annual address to the ambassadors of some 185 nations.
"Peace is not built by vaunting the power of the victor over the vanquished," he said in the foreign policy speech that backed disarmament and multilateralism.
Any disputes between nations must be resolved by negotiation and agreement, not by war, the Pope said in the speech which prioritised human rights over power and profit.
"In this regard, it is of paramount importance to support every effort at dialogue on the Korean peninsula, to find new ways of overcoming the current disputes, increasing mutual trust and ensuring a peaceful future for the Korean people and the entire world," he said.
The speech also focused on conflict-wracked Syria, where a devastating civil war has raged for almost seven years.
"It is also important for the various peace initiatives aimed at helping Syria to continue, in a constructive climate of growing trust between the parties, so that the lengthy conflict that has caused such immense suffering can finally come to an end," Pope Francis said.
"Our shared hope is that, after so much destruction, the time for rebuilding has now come," he said, calling for the inclusion and protection of religious minorities including Christians "who for centuries have made an active contribution to Syria's history".
The pontiff urged a political solution to achieve "peaceful coexistence" between Israelis and Palestinians "despite the difficulties" and upheld respect for the "status quo" on the holy city of Jerusalem, calling for "every initiative be carefully weighed".
Among the lessons taught by the devastating conflict of World War I, which ended a century ago, is that war isn't deterred by the "law of fear," but rather by "calm" reason, he said.
"Future acts of aggression are not deterred by the law of fear, but rather by the power of calm reason," he said.