Pope Benedict XVI has called for an end to the violence in Syria, urging world powers to spare no effort in striving for a just, political solution to the conflict.
He was speaking to pilgrims and tourists after weekly prayers at his summer residence of Castel Gandolfo near Rome.
“I am following with concern the tragic and growing episodes of violence in Syria with the sad sequence of dead and wounded, including civilians, and a large number of displaced people and refugees in neighbouring countries. This is why I ask that the necessary humanitarian assistance and aid be ensured,” he said from a balcony at the retreat.
More than 20,000 people have been killed since the uprising against President Assad began in March last year, according to the Syrian opposition.