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We see Jesus in children of Middle East, says Pope Francis

AFP
Published : Dec 26, 2017, 1:20 am IST
Updated : Dec 26, 2017, 6:47 am IST

The pontiff’s plea came as fresh tensions simmered in the West Bank following Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Pope Francis celebrates Christmas Eve Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican. (Photo: AP)
 Pope Francis celebrates Christmas Eve Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican. (Photo: AP)

Vatican City: Pope Francis on Monday called for peace in Jerusalem in his traditional Christmas address and highlighted the plight of children scarred by conflict, after urging the world’s 1.3 billion Catholics not to ignore migrants.

Addressing tens of thousands of worshippers gathered at the Vatican to hear the pontiff’s fifth “Urbi et Orbi” (To the City and The World) message, Francis called for “peace for Jerusalem and for all the Holy Land”.

“We see Jesus in the children of the Middle East, who continue to suffer because of growing tensions between Israelis and Palestinians,” he said.

“Let us pray that the will to resume dialogue may prevail between the parties and that a negotiated solution can finally be reached, one that would allow the peaceful coexistence of two states within mutually agreed and internationally recognised borders.”

The pontiff’s plea came as fresh tensions simmered in the West Bank following President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

The pontiff also mentioned other global flashpoints such as Syria, Iraq, Yemen, South Sudan and Venezuela, after stressing that the “winds of war are blowing in our world”.

“Let us pray that confrontation may be overcome on the Korean peninsula,” the 81-year-old said.

Tags: pope francis, donald trump