Pope Francis, during his customary annual message delivered on the eve of Christmas, has called for peace in conflict zones including Yemen and Syria.
The two countries, in particular, have both been ravaged by civil war for years, pushing their people into humanitarian crises.
“My wish for a happy Christmas is a wish for fraternity. Fraternity among individuals of every nation and culture,” reported BBC citing him on Tuesday.
While giving his yearly “Urbi et Orbi” (To the City and to the World) address in the Vatican, the pontiff said: “My thoughts turn to Yemen, in the hope that the truce brokered by the international community may finally bring relief to all those children and people exhausted by war and famine,” he said.
He delivered the speech from the balcony of St Peter’s Basilica, addressing the square below.
The Pope also said he hoped the international community would “work decisively for a political solution” in Syria – a country that is approaching its eighth year of civil war.
“So that the Syrian people, especially all those who were forced to leave their own lands and seek refuge elsewhere, can return to live in peace in their own country,” he added.
The UN says more than 6 million civilians have been displaced there since the war there began.