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The Pope asks for "peace for Jerusalem and the whole Holy Land"
The Pope asks for "peace for Jerusalem and the whole Holy Land" in his Christmas message. Photo : Cubadebate
Pope Francis on Monday called for "peace for Jerusalem and the entire Holy Land" and pray to reach "a negotiated solution, allowing the peaceful coexistence of two States," by pronouncing the traditional message Urbi et Orbi Christmas

"In this holiday, let us invoke the Lord asking for peace for Jerusalem and for the whole Holy Land, "said the Pope.

"We see Jesus in the children of the Middle East, who continue to suffer from increased tensions between Israelis and Palestinians," he said.

"Let us pray that among the parties involved will prevail the will to resume the dialogue and finally reach a negotiated solution that allows the peaceful coexistence of two States within the borders agreed between them and internationally recognized," he added.

"May the Lord also sustain the efforts of all those members of the international community who, moved with good will, wish to help this martyred land to find, despite the serious obstacles, the harmony, justice and security that they long for from so long ago, "insisted the Supreme Pontiff.

Even after US President Donald Trump decided to recognize the Holy City as the capital of Israel, the Pope called for "respecting the status quo" in Jerusalem, in accordance with United Nations resolutions.

Trump's decision provoked demonstrations almost daily in the Palestinian territories.

In his address to thousands of faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square, Pope Francis warned against "the winds of war" and an "outdated development model that continues to cause human, social and environmental degradation."

Pope Francis referred to several zones in conflict or victims of hunger and diseases.

"We see Jesus in the faces of the Syrian children, still marked by the war that has bloodied that country in these years," he said.

"We see Jesus in the children of Iraq, which is still wounded and divided by the hostilities that have hit it in the last 15 years, and in the children of Yemen, where there is a conflict largely forgotten, with serious humanitarian consequences for the population that suffers hunger and the spread of diseases, "said the Pope who also spoke about Africa.

"We see Jesus in the children of Africa, especially those who suffer in South Sudan, in Somalia, in Burundi, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in the Central African Republic and in Nigeria," he added.

With information from Cubadebate

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