Pope Francis speaks with Iranian President by phone

 10:44, 6 November 2023

YEREVAN, NOVEMBER 6, ARMENPRESS. Pope Francis spoke by phone on Sunday afternoon with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, Vatican News reports.

The Director of the Holy See Press Office, Matteo Bruni, confirmed the conversation to Vatican News, specifying that it occurred at the request of the Iranian president.

The Iranian presidency's website reported that President Raisi expressed his appreciation for the Pope's appeals for a ceasefire in Gaza.

Earlier on Sunday, Pope Francis reiterated his appeal at the Angelus address:

"I continue to think about the serious situation in Palestine and in Israel where many, many people have lost their lives. In God’s name, I beg you to stop: cease using weapons! I hope that avenues will be pursued so that an escalation of the conflict might be absolutely avoided, so that the wounded can be rescued and help might get to the population of Gaza where the humanitarian situation is extremely serious. May the hostages be freed immediately. There are also many children among them – may they return to their families! Yes, let’s think of the children, of all the children affected by this war, as well as in Ukraine and by other conflicts: this is how their future is being killed. Let us pray that there might be the strength to say, 'enough'."

In recent days, Pope Francis also held phone calls with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (2 November), Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (26 October), and with US President Joe Biden (22 October).

Among other issues addressed in his conversations with world leaders, the Pope had indicated the need to find paths to peace and the hope of reaching a two-state solution with a special status for Jerusalem.