Pope Francis in Bari to address a conference entitled ‘Mediterranean: Frontier of Peace’

Pope Francis (C) greets the crowd upon his arrival to address a conference entitled 'Mediterranean: Frontier of Peace,' which sees the participation of some 60 Catholic bishops from 19 nations bordering the Mediterranean, in Bari, Italy, 23 February 2020. EPA-EFE/DONATO FASANO

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Pope Francis on Sunday warned against “inequitable solutions” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, saying they would only be a prelude to new crises, in an apparent reference to U.S. President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace proposal.

Francis made his comments in the southern Italian port city of Bari, where he traveled to conclude a meeting of bishops from all countries in the Mediterranean basin.

“The Mediterranean region is currently threatened by outbreaks of instability and conflict, both in the Middle East and different countries of North Africa, as well as between various ethnic, religious or confessional groups,” Francis said.

“Nor can we overlook the still unresolved conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, with the danger of inequitable solutions and, hence, a prelude to new crises,” he said.

Pope Francis arrives to address conference in Bari
Pope Francis speaks to clergy upon his arrival to address a conference entitled ‘Mediterranean: Frontier of Peace,’ which sees the participation of some 60 Catholic bishops from 19 nations bordering the Mediterranean, in Bari, Italy, 23 February 2020. EPA-EFE/DONATO FASANO

The participants included Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, the head of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, whose jurisdiction includes Israel, the Palestinian territories and Jordan.

It was believed to be the first time the pope, who has often defended both Palestinian rights and Israel’s need for security, has spoken in public about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since Trump announced the plan on Jan. 28.

Pope Francis arrives to address conference in Bari
Pope Francis on his arrival in Bari, Italy, 23 February 2020. EPA-EFE/DONATO FASANO

Read more via Reuters/ ANSA

%d bloggers like this: