By Jim Fair

Pope Francis on October 18, 2020, asked for prayers for fishermen who have been held for more than a month in Libya — and for peace and stability in the troubled nation.

The Holy Father’s comments came after praying the Angelus with the limited crowd gathered in St. Peter’s Square.

“I wish to address a word of encouragement and support to the fishermen who have been held in Libya for more than a month, and to their families,” Pope Francis said. “Entrusting them to Mary Star of the Sea, may they keep alive the hope to be able to embrace their loved ones again soon.

“I pray also for the various discussions in progress at an international level, that they may be relevant for the future of Libya. Brothers and sisters, the time has come to stop every form of hostility, promoting the dialogue that leads to peace, to stability, and to the unity of the country. Let us pray together for the fisherman and for Libya, in silence.”

Egypt has recently taken the lead in trying to find a solution to the presence of armed militias in Libya and resolve the conflict, according to Vatican News.

At the end of September, the Egyptian city of Hurghada hosted military talks between representatives of the eastern Libyan National Army (LNA) and the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA), to discuss ways to unify the military institutions and deal with militias.

Russia, Italy, and other countries in the North African region are also pushing for international cooperation to find a peaceful solution to what has become a ferocious civil war between factions loyal to the UN-backed government in the West and Khalifa Haftar’s rival government in the East.

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