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Pope calls for ‘real negotiations’ in Ukraine war

Pope Francis renewed calls on Sunday for "real negotiations" to end what he called the "increasingly dangerous escalation" of the conflict in Ukraine

Pope Francis in The Vatican. (Photo by Vincenzo PINTO / AFP)

Pope Francis renewed calls on Sunday for “real negotiations” to end what he called the “increasingly dangerous escalation” of the conflict in Ukraine.

“As the fury of destruction and death rages and clashes flare, fuelling an escalation that is increasingly dangerous for all, I renew my appeal to the leaders of nations: Please do not lead humanity to destruction,” the pontiff said from the window of the apostolic palace in St Peter’s Square.

More than a hundred days since the start of the war, the pope called for “real negotiations for a ceasefire and a solution” to end it.

On Saturday, the 85-year-old pope confirmed his desire to visit Ukraine, but said he wanted to wait for “the right moment”.

Tens of thousands of people have been killed, millions forced to flee and towns turned into rubble since Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an all-out assault on his pro-Western neighbour on February 24.

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