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In Christmas Address, Pope Francis Calls For Peace In The Holy Land & Beyond

In his annual Christmas address, Pope Francis expressed hope that the festive season would lead to the resumption of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. The pontiff called for renewed negotiations “that can put an end to a conflict that for over 70 years [has taken place in] the land chosen by the Lord to show his face of love.” Other Middle East conflicts featured prominently in the speech, with Francis also urging an end to the war in Yemen which since 2015 has killed some 10,000 people and pushed 14 million civilians to the brink of starvation. Finally, the pope referred to the carnage in Syria; this, just days after United States President Donald Trump announced a pull-out of about 2,000 American troops from the war-torn nation. “May the international community work decisively for a political solution…so that the Syrian people, especially all those who were forced to leave their own lands and seek refuge elsewhere, can return to live in peace in their own country,” Francis asserted.

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