Pope Francis has urged prayers for peace in the Caucasus, where Armenia declared martial law and mobilized its male population on Sunday after clashes with Azerbaijan over the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region. Both sides in the conflict reported fatalities, according to Vatican News.

The Holy Father’s comments came after praying the noonday Angelus today with the faithful gathered under umbrellas in a rainy St. Peter’s Square.

“There has been worrying news of conflicts in the area of the Caucasus,” Pope Francis said. “I pray for peace in the Caucasus and I ask the parties in conflict to perform concrete acts of goodwill and brotherhood, which may lead to resolving the problems not with the use of force and arms, but through dialogue and negotiation. Let us pray together in silence for peace in the Caucasus.”

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