In his annual “State of the World” address to members of the Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Holy See, Pope Francis reiterated his call for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and access to humanitarian aid for the Palestinian people.
These calls unfolded during his annual meeting with the Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Holy See on the occasion of Christmas and New Year celebrations. Addressing a wide range of international issues, the Pope underscored the paramount significance of dialogue and diplomacy in attaining peaceful resolutions to disputed issues, while passionately advocating for justice and world peace.
In reference to the Middle East, the Pope expressed the Holy See’s sorrow over the grave developments since October 7th, where Israeli full-scale war on Gaza has resulted in the killing of tens of thousands of Palestinians, majority of which are women and children, and has caused an exceptionally grave humanitarian crisis and inconceivable suffering. The Pope also denounced the killing of civilians, emphasizing that innocent civilians bear the brunt of the toll enacted by wars.
The Pope renewed his appeal for an immediate ceasefire across all fronts, including Lebanon. He described war as a grievous tragedy, violating the dignity of every single person in the world. He clarified that achieving peace requires not only the removal of the tools of war but eradication of the root causes of conflicts. He urgently called for the unhindered entry of humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip, and the protection of places of worship. He also urged the international community to work towards realizing a two-state solution. He advocated for a special international status for Jerusalem, emphasizing its key role in securing peace, stability, and security. Expressing concerns for the ongoing aggression on Gaza and the destabilization of the wider region, he urged intensive efforts to restore stability.
Ambassador Issa Qassisieh conveyed President Mahmoud Abbas’s greetings to His Holiness, extending his warmest wishes to him on the occasion of Christmas and New Year. Asking the Pepe to continue his prayers for justice and peace in the holy city, and for the realization of the right to self-determination for the Palestinian people.