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Pope’s ‘secret meetings’ in bid for Ukraine peace as Vatican offered for talks

The Pope has held a series of secret meetings in an attempt to create peace with Russia's President Vladimir Putin and Ukraine's leader Volodomyr Zelensky.

The news came from the Vatican itself, just hours after Pope Francis urged the two battling leaders to come together at the Vatican for peace talks.

According to La Stampa news, the Pope urged the United States and European Union to join the talks, having already met with French President Emmanuel Macron on October 24.

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According to Russia's Tass new agency, a spokesman for the Pope said: “The Vatican is constantly closely monitoring the development of the situation.

“There are efforts in progress to bring the positions closer together, to find solutions, and the Holy See is doing what it has to do.

“(The Pope and the Vatican) has held many confidential meetings that have yielded good results.”

Archbishop Visvaldas Kulbokas, nuncio of the Holy See to Ukraine, who as spoken to the Pope, clarified that the man is staying “neutral” in the conflict, but that he "spoke a lot about his love, his affection, for both the Russian and the Ukrainian people” during a recent press conference.

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He added: “He used all possible means to underscore that he is not aligned either politically or ideologically to anybody, to any system, neither to the West nor to the East.

“He wanted to be very clear that he speaks as an independent person who speaks from his own heart.

“So that is why Pope Francis tried to speak from his human heart, from the very profoundness of his human heart, to other human hearts.

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“Then it will depend on the listener (Putin and Zelensky) if this message will be paid attention to.

"And here I would say that our mission, the mission of all the church, is to pray in order that these words of Pope Francis reach the addressees.”

Neither leader, nor officials from the United States or European Union, has reportedly responded to the invitation of peace talks at the Vatican yet.

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