Updated 05:52 AM EST, Sat, Dec 05, 2020

Pope Advises Costa Rica & Nicaragua to Repair Strained Relations

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In a renewed call for peace around the world, Pope Francis sent a strong message to Nicaragua and Costa Rica to double their efforts in repairing the strained relations between the two countries.

ICN said the message came a week after the International Court of Justice (ICJ) released a ruling on the territorial dispute of the countries.

"I hope that a renewed spirit of fraternity will further strengthen the dialogue and mutual cooperation, between the two countries and throughout the whole region," the Pope said as he spoke before pilgrims at the St. Peter's Square for Sunday's Angelus.

According to the UN News Center, the ICJ ruled that Nicaragua violated Costa Rica's "territorial sovereignty and navigational rights," but noted that it did not infringe upon environmental obligations when it dredged the San Juan River.

The same report added that the ruling also indicated that Costa Rica was not able to fulfil their obligation to complete an environmental impact assessment.

Both countries have reportedly expressed their commitment to abide by the said ruling, a development welcomed by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

"The Secretary-General expresses the hope that Nicaragua and Costa Rica will continue working to improve their relations as neighbouring countries with strong linkages among their citizens," said Ban's spokesperson.

Aside from addressing the relations between the two countries, Vatican Radio said the Pontiff also appealed for peace in Syria, and called for concrete action to achieve harmony in the country marred by wars and conflicts.

"It is important to me that we turn our thoughts once again today to our beloved Syria, to express deep appreciation for the agreement just reached by the international community," the Pope said.

He also encouraged the public to denounce violence and always seek peace.

To end his message, Pope Francis also offered prayers to the flood victims in India, as per ICN.

"My thoughts turn in this moment to the dear populations of India, recently stricken by a great flood," he added.

The Pope encouraged the pilgrims at St. Peter's Square to also offer their intentions and prayers for the people who were affected by the calamity.

CNN reported that the flooding in Chennai, India, last Dec. 2 was considered to be the worst one in over a hundred years. It added that an estimated 300 people died because of the calamity, and most of them were buried in floodwaters.

While family members continue to mourn, they also have been left without a supply of food and clean water. The industries in the area have also been greatly affected.

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