Vatican Secretary of State Reiterates Offer to Host Peace TalksBy Stewart Battle
On Monday, Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin reiterated the Vatican’s offer to serve as the venue for peace talks between Ukraine and Russia, in remarks to reporters on the sidelines of an event in Rome. In response to a question from the Russian news agency, TASS, among other reporters, about the prospects for peace in Ukraine, Parolin said "We believe that the Vatican could be the right terrain for this. We have tried to offer opportunities for everyone to meet and to maintain a balance in all of this. Did we succeed? Difficult to know, but I think the intention is to offer a space where the parties can meet and start a dialogue without preconditions. When they meet, it will be a question of establishing a working methodology and giving content to this methodology."
His point of "without preconditions" is key, which has so far not been allowed by the Anglo-American powers and their EU partners.
At the moment, Parolin said, the parties seem more interested in pursuing victory than peace. "A peace born of victory will cost an enormous price. I would not want what the ancient Romans said to come true: 'Ubi desertum faciunt, ibi pace appellant’ (‘Where they make a desert, there they call for peace’). We want a peace where rights and justice flourish," he said.
Parolin then mentioned a recent speech by Pope Francis where, while asking for peace for Ukraine, he had to stop to hold back tears: "Many were struck by the deep emotion he experienced. Will he be able to break through? Let's hope, sometimes tears can move even hardened hearts."
“We have to hope against all hope, even if for the moment I don’t see any positive glimmers," he added.