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Pope Francis on Iraq: "It is licit stop the unjust aggressor"

Monday, August 18, 2014 - 01:32

Pope Francis, speaking on his return flight from South Korea, says the situation in Iraq is grave and that the international community has to respond together. Gavino Garay reports.

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Pope Francis, speaking aboard his plane as he returned from South Korea, urged the international community to respond to the crisis in Iraq. He said that no single country should decide how to intervene. (SOUNDBITE) (Italian) POPE FRANCIS, SAYING: "Where there is an unjust aggression I can only say that it is licit to stop the unjust aggressor. I underscore the verb 'to stop'. I am not saying bombing or making war, but stopping him... One single nation cannot judge how he is to be stopped, how an unjust aggressor is to be stopped." He pointed to the United Nations as the proper channel for consider whether there is unjust aggression in Iraq, and for the U.N. to decide how to act. Though not the safest time to travel there, the pope says he's willing to go. (SOUNDBITE) (Italian) POPE FRANCIS, SAYING: "In the end we said that, if necessary, we could go there after returning from Korea. It was one possibility. So the answer is that I am willing to go. At this moment, it would not be the best thing to do, but I am willing to do it." Islamic State militants have overrun much of northern Iraq, executing Christians and ethnic Yazidis who refuse to convert to Islam. Pope Francis has sent a cardinal to Iraq to visit refugees and deliver charity funds. He's also written to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon about the urgent need to stop the bloodshed.

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Pope Francis on Iraq: "It is licit stop the unjust aggressor"

Monday, August 18, 2014 - 01:32