Pope condemns Yemen war ahead of historic Gulf visit

Pope Francis answers questions from journalists aboard his flight from Tallinn, Estonia, to Rome Sept. 25. (CNS photo/Paul Haring) See POPE-BALTICS-PLANE to come.

 

ABU DHABI|Pope Francis will become the first pontiff to visit the Arabian Peninsula on Sunday, just hours after issuing his strongest condemnation yet of the war in Yemen, where his host the United Arab Emirates has a leading military role.

The pope said in his regular Sunday address in Vatican City that he was following the urgent humanitarian crisis in Yemen with great concern. He urged all sides to implement a fragile peace deal and help deliver aid to millions of hungry people.

“The cry of these children and their parents rise up to God,” he told tens of thousands of people in St. Peter’s Square.

“Let us pray strongly because they are children who are hungry, who are thirsty, they don’t have medicine and they are in danger of death,” he said before boarding his flight to the UAE capital Abu Dhabi.

The UAE plays a leading role in the Saudi-led coalition battling Houthi group .The nearly four-year war that has pushed Yemen to the brink of famine.

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