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Pope’s envoy travels to US on a peace mission in Ukraine

Vatican City, Jul 17 (Prensa Latina) Cardinal Matteo Zuppi, Archbishop of Bologna and president of the Italian Episcopal Conference (IEC), traveled to the United States as Pope Francis' envoy, on a mission to promote peace in Ukraine.

According to a statement released by the Holy See press office on Monday, Zuppi will stay in Washington until July 19, with the “objective of exchanging ideas and points of view on the current tragic situation and supporting humanitarian initiatives to alleviate the suffering of the most affected and fragile people.”

A press release issued on the Vatican News digital site recalls that in May, the Holy See communicated the news of this mission of the IEC head, entrusted by the Supreme Pontiff, and in fulfillment of it he traveled to Kiev on June 5 and 6, as well as to Moscow on July 28 and 29.

In the Ukrainian capital, Zuppi met with President Volodimir Zelenski, while in Moscow he met twice with Yuri Ushakov, assistant to President Vladimir Putin for Foreign Policy, as well as with Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill, and Maria Lvova Belova, Commissioner for Children’s Rights.

Archbishop Paolo Pezzi, president of the Russian Bishops’ Conference, said that the meeting of the Pope’s special envoy with Ushakov was productive, and pointed out that the meeting dealt mainly with humanitarian issues related to refugees.

Russian Presidency Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that it was “an exchange of views, of information on humanitarian issues in the context of Ukrainian affairs. There are no solutions, no concrete agreements. If necessary, the dialogue will continue”.

Last July 4, the Archbishop of Bologna confirmed that he had met with Pope Francis to talk about his mission, and stressed that the current priority of the mission is “to work for the most disadvantaged, such as children, and to see if we can put in place the mechanism for them and help in the humanitarian part.”