The Pope, 'Kiev must have the courage of the white flag'

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The Pope, 'Kiev must have the courage of the white flag'

“He who thinks of the people is stronger, he who has the courage of the white flag”, and “when you see that you are defeated, that things are not going, you need to have the courage to negotiate. You are ashamed, but with how many deaths will it end?” . Pope Francis abandons the balancing act of diplomacy and launches a heartfelt appeal to stop the counting of those killed in Ukraine, openly inviting Kiev to accept a compromise for an end to hostilities. And even in Gaza, there is a conflict that “makes two, not one. The irresponsible are these two who make war”, thundered the Holy Father before remembering to “look at history: the wars we have experienced, all end with the agreement.”

“Today we can negotiate with the help of international powers. The word negotiate is courageous”, said the Pontiff in an interview with Swiss Radio and Television which will be broadcast on March 20, of which ANSA had a preview. To stop the deaths, we need to “negotiate in time, look for some country to act as a mediator. There are many in the war in Ukraine, Turkey has offered, and others. Don’t be ashamed to negotiate before things get worse”, he said. asked the Holy Father, recalling that he too is ready to play his part, both for Ukraine and for Gaza. “I sent a letter to the Jews of Israel to reflect on this situation. Negotiation is never a surrender. It is the courage not to lead the country to suicide. The Ukrainians, with the history they have, poor things, the Ukrainians at the time of Stalin how much they suffered.” And it is on this point that the director of the Vatican press office, Matteo Bruni, wanted to emphasize and clarify: “The Pope uses the term white flag, taking up the image proposed by the interviewer, to indicate the cessation of hostilities, the truce reached with the courage of negotiation”, he explains, underlining that “referring to every war situation, the Pope clearly stated: ‘negotiation is never a surrender'”.

“War is madness”, Francis reiterated again to reflect on the hypocrisies of the world, with words that inevitably bring to mind the recent initiatives for Gaza: “Humanitarian interventions? Yes, sometimes they are humanitarian, but they also cover a sense of guilt”. How does a war end? “With deaths, destruction, children without parents,” he warned. “It can be a war that seems right for practical reasons. But behind a war there is the arms industry, and this means money”, highlighted the Holy Father, returning to point the finger at those who “earn to kill” with companies so “today there are investments that give more income”.

The one on Swiss TV is an intervention destined to spark discussion in Ukraine, where since the beginning of the war there has been a clash between the government and the local church with the Vatican and its continuous appeals to choose the path of dialogue to stop the weapons. President Zelensky has always declassified the role of the Holy See only in matters of a humanitarian nature, for example by inviting the Vatican to promote the issue of Ukrainian children deported to Russia. For the rest, Kiev has always refused to negotiate any peace that involves the cession of the territories contained in the 1991 borders, including Crimea. And the Vatican’s continuous appeals for peace have always been rejected by the sender, with many tensions that have attracted the accusation of being “pro-Russian” for the Pontiff, launched by presidential advisor Mykhailo Podolyak. Cardinal Zuppi then tried to move between the two countries in search of a glimmer of dialogue, without success. And with the pontiff’s final words, the gap between Zelensky’s government and the Holy See seems to be widening more and more.

Meanwhile, the war continues in Ukraine – a 16-year-old was killed in a Russian bombing in Dnipropetrovsk – but also on Russian territory: Moscow’s forces claimed to have destroyed 47 Ukrainian drones launched at night over four regions of the country. And while NATO has ruled out a possible sending of troops to Ukraine, Kiev appears to be open to possibilities, “if they were to make this decision”, commented the secretary of the Ukrainian Security Council Alexei Danilov.

The Pope, ‘the war of two irresponsible people in Gaza’

“Every day at seven in the afternoon I call the parish of Gaza. Six hundred people live there and tell what they see: it’s a war. And the war is made by two people, not one. The irresponsible ones are these two who make the war. Then there’s no ‘It’s only the military war, there is the ‘guerrilla war’, so to speak, of Hamas, a movement that is not an army. It’s a bad thing.” Pope Francis says this in an interview with Swiss Radio and Television broadcast on March 20 and of which a preview was given. However, when asked whether we should not lose hope of trying to mediate, he replies: “Let’s look at history, the wars we have experienced, they all end with an agreement”.

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