Pope calls for renewed political will to end Syria conflict
Monday, January 13, 2014 - 00:45
Jan. 13 - Pope Francis delivers his first ''state of the world'' address to diplomats and calls for renewed political will to end Syria conflict. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION)
STORY: Pope Francis, in his first "state of the world" address to diplomats, on Monday called for a renewed political will to end the conflict in Syria and protect unarmed civilians there.
In his address to diplomats from 180 countries accredited to the Vatican, Pope Francis also spoke about his concern over violence in Lebanon, Africa, Egypt and Iraq and lamented a "general indifference" about the plight of refugees.
Francis made his appeal for an end to the civil war in Syria on the day the Vatican's Academy of Sciences was holding an international symposium at the pope's request to discuss the Syrian crisis.
"What is presently needed is a renewed political will to end the conflict," the pope said of the civil war in Syria, which has killed more than 100,000 people.
"At the same time, full respect for humanitarian law remains essential. It is unacceptable that unarmed civilians, especially children, become targets," he said.
Francis, who last December led an international day of prayer for peace in Syria, said he hoped the so-called "Geneva 2" conference that will be held on January 22 under U.N. auspices "will mark the beginning of the desired peace process."
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