Archbishop Paul, the foreign minister of Vatican City, reaffirmed the Vatican’s “willingness to aid a genuine negotiation process” between Ukraine and Russia in a speech in Kyiv on Friday.
Speaking alongside Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, Archbishop Paul said negotiations were “a just route to a fair and permanent resolution” to the war in Ukraine.
Lamenting the “limitations” of previous attempts at finding a resolution through negotiations, the archbishop said: “Faith in God and in humanity (…) compels us to persevere in the pursuit of peace through prayer, words and deeds and not to succumb easily to the enormous challenges.”
“I assure you that both the Holy Father and his closest collaborators, including myself, suffer greatly from the many deaths, violence of all sorts, the devastation of cities and infrastructure, the separation of so many families, and the millions of displaced people and refugees,” he added.
Pope Francis has repeatedly made appeals for peace. The Vatican previously said it is willing to do “everything possible” to assist in reaching a ceasefire and brokering an end to the war in Ukraine.
Archbishop Paul said the visit to Kyiv, at the invitation of Kuleba, had been planned “for quite some time,” but “obstacles” including health concerns with the Covid-19 pandemic had prevented it until now.
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