Pope Criticizes International Response To Syria, Calls For Negotiations

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Joshua Gill Religion Reporter

Pope Francis said he was “deeply disturbed” by the lack of common international response to Syria’s use of chemical weapons and urged negotiation for peaceful solutions.

Francis made the remarks during his Sunday address to a crowd of 30,000 Catholic faithful in St. Peter’s square after his Sunday blessing, according to The Associated Press. He urged people to unify in praying for peaceful solutions and called on international leaders to ensure make “justice prevail.”

“Despite the tools available to the international community, it is difficult to agree on a common action toward peace in Syria or other regions of the world,” Francis said, according to AP.

“There is not a good or a bad war, and nothing can justify such instruments that exterminate defenseless people and populations. Let’s pray that the responsible politicians and military leaders choose another path: that of negotiations, the only one that can bring peace,” Francis added.

Francis’ criticism of the international community’s response to a chemical weapons attack allegedly conducted by the by Syrian Bashar al-Assad’s government came after U.S. led coalition forces conducted airstrikes on Syria’s chemical weapon infrastructure. American, British, and French forces conducted Saturday morning air strikes that destroyed three targets integral to Syria’s ability to produce chemical weapons.

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley said that the U.S. is prepared to respond with military force again if Syria continues use chemical weapons.

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