The Guardian reported on Sunday:
“…according to Sana, Syria’s state-run news agency, the message set out the Assad regime’s position ahead of next month’s peace conference in Geneva, saying it was willing to take part in the talks but that countries supporting rebel groups would have to stop.
‘The message also highlighted that stopping terrorism requires having the countries which are involved in supporting the armed terrorist groups stop providing any sort of military, logistic or training support, noting that this support was provided by some of Syria’s neighbours and other known countries in the Middle East and abroad,’ Sana reported.
…The 77-year-old Argentinian pope has pleaded for peace in Syria repeatedly in recent months, most prominently in September, when he sent Vladimir Putin – in his capacity as host leader of the G20 summit in St Petersburg – a letter implicitly expressing his strong opposition to the airstrikes that were being considered by the Obama administration.
On Christmas Day, he reiterated his call for an end to a conflict which the United Nations estimates has caused the deaths of more than 100,000 people.”