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In his first comments since the missile attacks on Syria by the United States, Britain and France, Pope Francis said on Sunday, April 15, that he is deeply disturbed by the present world situation, in which notwithstanding the instruments at the disposition of the international community, it struggles to agree on a common action in favour of peace in Syria and in other regions of the world.

“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,” the pope told a crowd of 30,000 after his traditional Sunday blessing.

Francis called on “all people of goodwill” to join him in praying for peace, and appealed to political leaders to help “justice prevail.”

Sources in Rome said he was alluding to the breach of international law not only by the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Syrian forces but also by the missile attacks launched by the United States and its European allies early last Friday morning in response to that criminal act. They said that by circumventing the United Nations such attacks weaken international structures for peace and risk making the situation worse, not only in Syria but in the wider Middle East region.

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