The Holy See’s representative to the United Nations said at the Security Council meeting on the Middle East that Pope Francis urges a “holistic approach.”

Monsignor Fredrik Hansen, the Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, spoke the United Nations Security Council meeting on “The Situation in the Middle East,
including the Palestinian Question” on Wednesday over Pope Francis’ concerns on the “worrying news” that continues to arrive from the region.

“We are witnessing a deterioration of the situation in the whole region, from the heightening of tensions between Iran and the United States to the crises in Iraq and Lebanon, ‘setting the groundwork for a vaster conflict that all of us would want to avert.'”

Hansen said Pope Francis is urging commitment to dialogue and a “holistic” approach to the challenges presenting themselves in the Middle East.

“It is of the utmost importance that the support and the commitment of the international community keep the flame of dialogue alive and that these challenges be addressed with a holistic approach.”

Speaking on Syria, Hansen said Pope Francis is calling for “steadfast and effective engagement” to counteract “the pall of silence that risks falling over the war that has devastated Syria over the course of the last decade.”

“It is imperative to devise suitable and far-sighted solutions capable of enabling the beloved Syrian people, exhausted by war, to regain peace and to begin the reconstruction of the country.”

Speaking on Yemen – “suffering one of the most serious humanitarian crises of recent history” – Pope Francis said the “silence and indifference” is only “a risk to worsen the conflict.” On the Holy Land, Hansen said the Holy See is an advocate to maintain the “status quo” policy of Jerusalem.

“The appeal to maintain the status quo of the holy sites of Jerusalem, dear to Jews, Christians and Muslims in virtue of their religion and important for the cultural heritage of the whole human family, is one that has been repeatedly made, also by this Organization.”

Hansen ended his statement at the meeting by saying the Holy See has a “steadfast commitment to peace and its support for all initiatives that strive to ensure the advancement of negotiated solutions.”

“To this end, the Holy See encourages all parties to promote open and constructive dialogue based on the principles upon which this Organization was built 75 years ago.”

Read the full statement read by Monsignor Fredrik Hansen at the UN Security Council meeting here here.

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