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Pope Backs Call by UN’s Guterres for Global Cease-fire during Pandemic

As part of his weekly blessing at the Vatican, Pope Francis backed a call by United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for a truce on the world’s battlefields as countries everywhere fight the coronavirus pandemic. During a televised mass on Sunday, the pontiff urged all combatants to “stop every form of bellicose hostility and favor the creation of corridors for humanitarian help, diplomatic efforts and attention to those who find themselves in situations of great vulnerability.” Guterres made his own appeal last Monday during an online news conference, emphasizing the conflicts in Libya, Yemen and Syria, where UN or European efforts have been underway to end the fighting and provide humanitarian aid. Six people residing in Rome’s Vatican City have tested positive for coronavirus, and Italy long ago surpassed China as the pandemic’s epicenter, the country’s death toll climbing past 10,000 on Saturday.