Switzerland invites Pope Francis to June's Ukrainian Peace Summit

Switzerland invites the Pope to the Peace summit in Bürgenstock
Switzerland invites the Pope to the Peace summit in Bürgenstock

Switzerland has invited Pope Francis to attend June's Ukrainian Peace Summit in the Swiss city of Bürgenstock, Swiss President Viola Amherd told Swiss publication Blick.

"We invited the Holy See,” she said after being asked whether the Pope will attend.

“The Vatican is very positive about the peace conference."

Pope Francis' latest statements about Russia's invasion of Ukraine

Pope Francis called on Russia and Ukraine to exchange prisoners under the “all for all” scheme in his Easter address on March 31.

Ukrainian Military Intelligence (HUR) head, Kyrylo Budanov, supported the idea but noted that Russia must first be convinced to agree.

Attacks on Ukrainian energy facilities threaten a humanitarian catastrophe, Pope Francis said on March 25.

"The strongest will be the one who has the courage to raise the white flag," the Pope controversially told Swiss broadcaster RSI on March 9, adding that "negotiating is courageous" and calling for negotiations "before it is too late."

Read also: Japanese government responds to Pope's statement: Ukraine's will must be respected

Vatican Press Service head, Matteo Bruni explained the comments following an outcry.

The Pope used the image of "a white flag to signify the cessation of hostilities - a truce that should be achieved through the courage to negotiate," he said.

Pope Francis also confirmed his "deep commitment" to the Ukrainian people.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy criticized the Pope's comments.

The white walls of houses and churches in Ukraine destroyed by Russian munitions "speak very eloquently about who should stop" in efforts to end the war, he said.

Several Western politicians also criticized the pontiff's words.

Ukraine's Foreign Affairs Ministry summoned Apostolic Nuncio to Ukraine, Visvaldas Kulbokas, to express disappointment with the Pope's words.

Ukraine's flag is blue and yellow, and "we will not raise other flags", Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on March 10 in response to the Pope's comments.

The first condition for peace is a cease-fire on the part of the aggressor, that is, Moscow, Vatican State Secretary Cardinal Pietro Parolin said on March 12.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine