Pope Francis urges aid access to Syria in Christmas speech

Pope Francis has used his first Christmas Day address to urge access for humanitarian aid in Syria.

He told thousands of pilgrims in St Peter’s Square in the Vatican to pray for a peaceful end to violence in Syria and other conflict zones, the BBC reports.

The Argentine pope also said tragic incidents involving migrants trying to reach Europe should not be repeated.

Christians around the world are celebrating Christmas, which marks the birth of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem.

It was the third successive year that the Syrian conflict had been a main focus of the Christmas speech, one of the addresses known as Urbi et Orbi.

“Too many lives have been shattered in recent times by the conflict in Syria, fuelling hatred and vengeance,” said the 77-year-old pontiff.

“Let us continue to ask the Lord to spare the beloved Syrian people further suffering.”

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