Wed, 17 April 2024
The Daily Ittefaq

Pope Francis criticized for Ukraine 'white flag' remarks

Update : 10 Mar 2024, 21:39

Pope Francis has come in for fierce criticism over remarks that Ukraine should have what he called the courage of the "white flag" and negotiate an end to the war with Russia. 

The head of the Catholic Church made the remarks in an interview recorded last month with Swiss broadcaster RSI, but partially released on Saturday.

It sparked widespread criticism from Ukraine and its allies, as many interpreted it as a call for Ukraine to surrender.

What did the pontiff say?

"I think that the strongest one is the one who looks at the situation, thinks about the people and has the courage of the white flag, and negotiates," Francis said.

He went on to say that many, including Turkey and others, wanted to mediate in the war in Ukraine.

"Do not be ashamed to negotiate," Francis pleaded.

Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni later explained that the journalist interviewing Francis used the term "white flag," thus, the pope used it in his answer.

He said the pope supported a "diplomatic solution for a just and lasting peace" and that a negotiation is "never a surrender."

Ukraine and allies denounce remark
Ukraine slammed Pope Francis's call to negotiate with Russia two years into its invasion, vowing "never" to surrender.

"Our flag is a yellow and blue one. This is the flag by which we live, die, and prevail. We shall never raise any other flags," Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on social media.

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