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Patriarch Kirill, Pope Francis warn against global conflict in peacekeeping statement on Syria

Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia and Pope Francis have adopted a joint statement over the worsening situation in Syria, the Moscow Patriarchate said on Tuesday. Citing the increased international tension, the statement said that the ongoing hostilities in the Middle East, which in recent years have claimed the lives of many thousands of people and forced millions to flee, “now threaten to escalate into a global conflict.” The patriarch and the pope said “the world has approached a dangerous line – a real failure in international relations and cooperation.” They warned that the horrors of the world wars of the last century cannot be compared with “how catastrophic the consequences of a world war can be today.” The statement appealed to all world leaders to recognize their responsibility and urged them “not to allow further escalation of tension, to avoid confrontation and take the path of dialogue.”