Pope Francis expects gestures on Armenian Genocide centennial, hopes Turkey will open the Armenia border


Pope Francis says he hopes Turkey will open its border with Armenia. The Pope made the remark Nov. 30 during a 45-minute news conference on his flight to Rome after a three-day visit to Turkey, the Catholic News Service reports.

The Pope praised Erdogan’s 2013 statement on the 1915 mass killings of Armenians by Ottoman forces. He voiced hope that other gestures over the coming anniversary year would bring the two nations nearer, and he specifically voiced hope that Turkey would open its border with Armenia.

The Pope also said he told Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan Nov. 28 that “it would be beautiful if all Islamic leaders — whether they be political leaders, religious leaders, academic leaders — would say clearly that they condemn (terrorism), because that will help the majority of Islamic people to say, ‘that’s true,'” and show non-Muslims that Islam is a religion of peace.

“I sincerely believe that you cannot say that all Muslims are terrorists just as you cannot say that all Christians are fundamentalists; every religion has these little groups,” the pope said.

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