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In his first Easter address Pope Francis has called for world peace.

On March 31 Francis specifically mentioned Israel and Palestine, Syria, several Africa nations and the crisis on the Korean peninsula as flashpoints.

Speaking in Italian, the pope called for "peace in Asia, above all on the Korean peninsula. May disagreements be overcome and a renewed spirit of reconciliation grow."

The pope, who was former Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina, also called for the preservation of nature and urged humanity to be "guardians" of creation.

Francis spoke to an estimated crowd of 250,000 people in Vatican where he first appeared on March 13.

The new pope has set the tone for his office that centers on humility and simplicity.

Based on reporting by Reuters and dpa