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Pope Francis urges US and Iran to avoid escalation, pursue dialogue

Pope Francis urged the United States and Iran to avoid escalation and pursue “dialogue and self-restraint” to avert a wider conflict in the Middle East, reports Reuters.

“Particularly troubling are the signals coming from the entire region following the heightening of tensions between Iran and the United States,” Francis told the diplomats from more than 180 states.

He said the tensions risked “compromising the gradual process of rebuilding in Iraq, as well as setting the groundwork for a vaster conflict that all of us would want to avert”.

“I therefore renew my appeal that all the interested parties avoid an escalation of the conflict and keep alive the flame of dialogue and self-restraint, in full respect of international law,” he said.