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  • Pope Francis leaves after the traditional exchange of the New Year greetings, in the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican, January 9, 2020

    Pope Francis leaves after the traditional exchange of the New Year greetings, in the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican, January 9, 2020 | Photo: Reuters

Published 9 January 2020
Opinion

“I therefore renew my appeal that all the interested parties avoid an escalation of the conflict and keep alive the flame of dialogue and self-restraint, in full respect of international law,” he said.

Pope Francis issued an appeal to the United States and Iran on Thursday calling for the two nations to avoid escalation and to seek dialogue following tit-for-tat strikes in Iraq.

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During his "State of the World" address on Thursday, Pope Francis spent the a great deal of time discussing the ongoing conflicts in the world, along with the affects of global warming. 

“Particularly troubling are the signals coming from the entire region following the heightening of tensions between Iran and the United States,” Francis told the diplomats from more than 180 states.

According to Pope Francis, the tensions between the United States and Iran are “compromising the gradual process of rebuilding in Iraq, as well as setting the groundwork for a vaster conflict that all of us would want to avert”.

“I therefore renew my appeal that all the interested parties avoid an escalation of the conflict and keep alive the flame of dialogue and self-restraint, in full respect of international law,” he said.

“Our human family is scarred and wounded by a succession of increasingly destructive wars that especially affect the poor and those most vulnerable,” Francis said.

“Sadly, the New Year does not seem to be marked by encouraging signs, as much as by heightened tensions and acts of violence,” he would add.

The tensions between Tehran and Washington reached its tipping point last weekend when the U.S. assassinated the commander of the Quds Force Qassem Soleimani. 

Iran responded to this assassination on Tuesday night when the Iranian Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) fired several missiles at the U.S. forces in Iraq.  

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