Pope Francis reciting the prayer of the Angelus from the window of his study overlooking Saint Peter's Square, Vatican City, 14 March 2021 | Photo:  ANSA/VATICAN MEDIA
Pope Francis reciting the prayer of the Angelus from the window of his study overlooking Saint Peter's Square, Vatican City, 14 March 2021 | Photo: ANSA/VATICAN MEDIA

On the tenth anniversary of the start of the conflict in Syria, Pope Francis has launched a new appeal to all sides in the conflict to end violence and urged to give hope to the "worn-out population" in order to finally begin "reconstruction and economic recovery".

Ten years since the start of the "bloody conflict" in Syria, Pope Francis on March 14 described the war as one of the worst humanitarian crises of current times.

He urged all sides involved and the international community to end violence and to offer a sliver of hope to the worn-out population in order to finally start the reconstruction process and to promote economic recovery.

'The sides must show a sign of good will'

"Ten years ago the bloody conflict in Syria began, causing one of the worst humanitarian crises of our time: an unspecified number of dead and wounded, millions of refugees, thousands of missing people, destruction, violence of every kind and huge suffering for the entire population, in particular for the most vulnerable, like children, women and the elderly," the pope said during his weekly blessing and message in St. Peter's Square on March 14.

The pope renewed his "heartfelt appeal" for all parties in the conflict to "show signs of goodwill, so that a glimmer of hope may open up for the exhausted population."

Commitment to lay down arms

Francis also called for the international community to provide "decisive and renewed commitment" to rebuilding the nation, so that "once the weapons have been laid down, the social fabric can be mended and reconstruction and economic recovery can begin."

"Let us all pray to the Lord that the great suffering in our beloved and tormented Syria may not be forgotten, and that our solidarity might revive hope," the pontiff said.

The pope has repeatedly expressed solidarity to the population and appealed for an end to Syria's decade-long war, which began with anti-government demonstrations ten years ago that escalated into armed conflict following a crackdown of demonstrations.

In a book-interview written by Vatican journalist Domenico Agasso, "Dio e il mondo che verrà" (God and the world to come), which will be published on March 16 by Piemme-Lev, the pontiff noted that "it has become unbearable that weapons continue to be produced, spending significant amounts of money that should be spent to treat people, save lives."

The pontiff also said that he expects leaders to "rebuild from the rubble" after the end of the Covid emergency.

 

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