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Pope Francis Calls For Peace In Easter Message


Pope Francis delivers his Easter blessing from the balcony of St Peter's Basilica in the Vatican on April 1.

Pope Francis has used his Easter Sunday message to "implore fruits of peace upon the entire world."

Francis called on April 1 for a "swift end" to carnage in the "beloved and long-suffering land of Syria" as well as "reconciliation" between Palestinians and Israelis.

He made the calls in the traditional Urbi et Orbi (To the City and the World) message delivered from the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica, the holiest day in the Christian calendar, which celebrates the resurrection of Christ.

The pontiff said the message of the resurrection offers hope in a world "marked by so many acts of injustice and violence."

He expressed hope that mutual respect would "prevail over divisions" in Yemen and the entire Middle East.

The pope urged more steps to bring harmony to Ukraine, where fighting between government forces and Russia-backed separatists has killed more than 10,300 people since April 2014.

Francis also mentioned the Korean Peninsula, urging "those who are directly responsible to act with wisdom and discernment to promote the good of the Korean people."

Based on reporting by AP, dpa, and AFP
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