Pope calls on EU to develop peace diplomacy for settling Ukraine war

Pope calls on EU to develop peace diplomacy for settling Ukraine war

World needs Europe's role as bridge, peacemaker, Francis says in Portugal

By Beyza Binnur Donmez

GENEVA (AA) - Pope Francis on Wednesday called on the EU to develop peace diplomacy for settling conflicts, beginning with the Russian war in Ukraine.

Francis expressed optimism that Europe can suggest innovative approaches to achieve peace and diplomatic resolutions, instead of simply assuming that war and the arms race are inevitable, Vatican News online reported.

"The world needs Europe, the true Europe: it needs its role as a bridge and peacemaker in its eastern part, in the Mediterranean, in Africa and in the Middle East," he said during a trip to Portugal.

According to the pontiff, it is necessary to establish peaceful diplomacy to resolve conflicts and reduce tensions. This diplomacy should be mindful of subtle signals of tension and be able to discern hidden meanings, he said.

About Europe, the pope asked: "Where are you sailing if you are not showing the world paths of peace, creative ways for bringing an end to the war in Ukraine and to the many conflicts causing so much bloodshed? …West, on what course are you sailing?"

"Your technologies, which have brought progress and globalized the world are not by themselves sufficient, much less your highly sophisticated weapons, which do not represent investments for the future but a depletion of its authentic human capital: that of education, health, the welfare state," Francis said. "It is troubling when we read that in many places (that) funds continue to be invested in arms rather than in the future of the young."

The pontiff’s ongoing visit to Portugal, where he traveled for the Lisbon World Youth Day, is set to continue through Sunday.

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