Pope Francis praises the UN Security Council for agreeing Syrian peace deal21 December 2015 | by Catholic News Service
Pope Francis endorsed a recent UN resolution on peace in Syria and expressed "deep appreciation" to the international community for reaching an agreement.
Resolution on Syria 2254 was passed by a unanimous vote of the UN’s Security Council on 18 December and calls for a ceasefire, talks between the Syrian government and opposition, and a two-year window in which to create a unity government and hold elections.
It is the first time that Russia and China have been able to agree on the text for a ceasefire and peace deal with the US since October 2011, not long after the conflict began.
During his Angelus address on Monday, the pope called on the international community as well as those involved in the conflict to work toward bringing peace in the country, which has been in the grips of war for almost five years.
The conflict also has opened the door for terrorist groups, such as the so-called Islamic State, to take over parts of the country and neighboring Iraq to establish a caliphate while persecuting Christians and other religious minorities.
"I encourage everyone to continue, with a generous spirit of confident willingness, toward the cessation of violence and a negotiated settlement leading to peace," the pope said.
The pope also praised the establishment of a unity government in Libya, which has also been besieged by conflict since the ouster of longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi. The Islamic State has also taken advantage of the civil war in the country in order to expands their attacks into Europe.
"I likewise think of nearby Libya, where the recent working agreement among the parties for a government of national unity invites hope for the future," Pope Francis said.
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