In this Sunday’s Angelus, Pope Francis again called for an immediate global ceasefire and prayed for the resolution of the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
After praying the Angelus with the faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square, the Pope demonstrated once again his concern with “the pandemic that shows no signs of stopping”, assuring its “proximity to those who are facing the disease and its economic and social consequences” and reiterating the call for a global ceasefire:
My thoughts go especially to those populations, whose sufferings are aggravated by situations of conflict. Based on a recent United Nations Security Council resolution, I renew the call for a global and immediate ceasefire that will allow the peace and security essential to providing the necessary humanitarian assistance.
The Pope referred in particular to the increasing tensions in the Caucasus between Armenia and Azerbaijan:
In particular, I follow with concern the worsening of armed tensions in the Caucasus region, between Armenia and Azerbaijan, in the last days. While assuring my prayers for the families of those who lost their lives during the clashes, I hope that, with the effort of the international community and through dialogue and the goodwill of the parties, a lasting peaceful solution can be reached that has the heart of the those beloved populations.
Current tensions between Armenians and Azerbaijanis, as a matter of fact, come since the Nagorno-Karabakh War, between 1988-1994, which left 30,000 dead. Despite the existence of an official ceasefire, throughout these years there have always been skirmishes and border incidents.
The clashes that started last Sunday left at least 17 dead, with reciprocal accusations about who started the conflict. Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered maneuvers in the Black Sea and Caspian Sea region, mobilizing 150,000 soldiers.