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Pope Francis calls US President Joe Biden to discuss peace

24 October 2023 18:28 (UTC+04:00)
Pope Francis calls US President Joe Biden to discuss peace

Pope Francis calls US President Joe Biden to discuss peace. On Sunday afternoon, Pope Francis spoke by phone with the President of the United States, Joe Biden, Azernews reports.

According to the Holy See Press Office, the conversation lasted around 20 minutes.

The Pope and the President spoke about "situations of conflict in the world and the need to identify paths to peace."

Earlier in the day, Pope Francis had renewed his appeal for peace in the Holy Land during the Angelus prayer. He also remembered those who continue to suffer in Ukraine, saying, “War, every war in the world — I am also thinking of the tormented Ukraine — is a defeat. War is always a defeat, it is a destruction of human brotherhood. Brothers, stop! Stop!”

President Biden visited Israel briefly on Wednesday, October 18, to engage in high-level talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and to show support for the war-torn Jewish state.

Biden told reporters on the way back from his trip to Israel that in a phone call with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, the leader agreed to allow 20 trucks carrying humanitarian aid into Gaza from the restricted Rafah crossing, which connects Egypt and Gaza. Biden also announced $100 million in humanitarian aid for the Palestinian people in both Gaza and the West Bank.

The United States is currently providing financial and military support to the Israeli and Ukrainian armies. On Friday, October 20, President Biden presented the US Congress with a new funding plan for aid to its allies, allotting $61.4 billion for Ukraine and $14.3 billion for Israel.

The United Nations has said the aid represents "a drop in the ocean of immense needs in Gaza," and the head of the U.N. World Food Program (WFP) has said the humanitarian situation in Gaza is catastrophic.

Pope Francis and President Biden have met before, when Biden visited the Vatican on October 29, 2021. During their meeting, they discussed the need to protect civilians in Gaza and efforts for the delivery of food, medicine, and other humanitarian assistance in Gaza. Pope Francis has also called for the release of hostages taken by Hamas during its October 7 attack.

The United States hopes for more hostages to be freed by Hamas, and is continuing to provide aid to the region in order to help bring about a durable peace in the Middle East.

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