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"The Vatican did not sign the communiqué in Switzerland but supports conclusions of the Summit," - Cardinal Parolin

18 June, 13:03
World news
"The Vatican did not sign the communiqué in Switzerland but supports conclusions of the Summit," - Cardinal Parolin - фото 1
On June 15-16, the Peace Summit, organized at the initiative of Ukraine, was held in Switzerland, where the Holy See was represented by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State of the Holy See.

This was reported by Vatican News.

In accordance with its nature and status as an observer, as well as following the practice of not signing joint declarations, the delegation of the Holy See did not participate in the signing of the final communiqué while expressing support for the conclusions of the Summit, as stated in the speech delivered by Cardinal Parolin during the final plenary session.

Efforts in the field of mediation initiatives

Cardinal Parolin outlined the diplomatic line of the Holy See, pointing to its role, first and foremost, at the humanitarian level. This was also discussed on June 14 during a conversation between President Volodymyr Zelensky and Pope Francis at the open session of the G7 summit. The President of Ukraine thanked the Vatican for its efforts, in particular, to return Ukrainian children who had been forcibly taken to Russia. Cardinals Parolin and Zuppi coordinated these actions.

At the beginning of his speech at the Peace Summit, the Holy See's Secretary of State noted that this summit is "an event of global significance, carefully prepared by Ukraine, which, while making great efforts to defend itself against aggression, has also been working constantly on the diplomatic front, seeking to achieve a just and lasting peace." According to him, in the face of the tragic consequences of the war, it is important to persevere and continue to look for ways to end the armed conflict.

"It is important to emphasize," said the cardinal, "that the only way to achieve a true, lasting and just peace is through dialogue between all parties. The Holy See expresses its hope that the diplomatic efforts currently being promoted by Ukraine and supported by many countries will be improved in order to achieve the results the victims deserve and the whole world hopes for."

Support for Ukraine's territorial integrity and assistance to the victims

In one of the points of his speech, the Cardinal emphasized the need to respect international law, reaffirming the fundamental principle of respect for the sovereignty of each country and the integrity of its territory. In addition, he expressed great concern over the tragic humanitarian consequences of the war and, therefore, reaffirmed the Holy See's intention to facilitate the repatriation of children and the release of prisoners, especially seriously wounded military and civilians. "Reuniting children with their families or legal guardians should be a priority for all parties, and any exploitation of their situation is unacceptable. Therefore, it is necessary to strengthen all available channels to facilitate this process," the Secretary of State of the Holy See emphasized.

The speaker noted that the Holy See participates in the work of the International Coalition for the Return of Ukrainian Children from Russia as an observer and maintains direct contact with representatives of the Ukrainian and Russian authorities to improve the efficiency of the special mechanism established after the visit of Cardinal Matteo Zuppi to Kyiv and Moscow to address specific cases.

Regarding prisoners of war, both civilian and military, the Secretary of State emphasized the importance of adhering to the Geneva Conventions. He also spoke about the possibility of establishing "a joint medical commission with the International Committee of the Red Cross that could assess the state of POWs in need of urgent medical care."

According to Cardinal Parolin, the Holy See is ready to make its contribution and, at the same time, calls on countries and other members of the international community to seek ways to provide assistance and facilitate mediation, both humanitarian and political. "On behalf of Pope Francis, I want to reaffirm his personal closeness to the suffering Ukrainian people and his ongoing efforts for peace," he said.