File photo of Cardinal Matteo Zuppi File photo of Cardinal Matteo Zuppi 

Cardinal Zuppi: Beijing gave ‘considerable attention to peace mission’

After returning from his visit to China, Cardinal Matteo Zuppi describes his mission to seek peace in Ukraine, saying all involved parties must find the key to a just and secure peace.

By Vatican News

Cardinal Matteo Maria Zuppi returned to Italy on Friday, following his three-day mission to Beijing, China, as part of his role as Pope Francis’ special envoy to seek peace in Ukraine.

Speaking to TV2000, the broadcaster of the Italian Bishops’ Conference (CEI), of which he is the president, Cardinal Zuppi said his mission received “considerable attention from the Chinese government.”

Just and secure peace in Ukraine

The Italian-born Cardinal and Archbishop of Bologna spoke of “a frank discussion with the envoy for Ukraine, with an important exchange of views and perspectives for the future.”

He added that everyone “must push in the same direction, which must be to find the key to a just and secure peace.”

Cardinal Zuppi highlighted the importance of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s willingness to engage in dialogue and meet with him.

He said the development is “important because peace is achieved through dialogue and seeking possible and necessary avenues.”

The Cardinal added that this “is certainly a positive development and aligns with the vision of Pope Francis.”

Responsibility of all parties

In terms of pursuing peace diplomatically, Cardinal Zuppi said the “ball is not only in Ukraine’s court. Everyone must play. Ukraine has already engaged and presented its proposals. In reality, everyone must participate in the pursuit of peace.”

During his visit to Russia on 28-29 June, the Cardinal met twice with Yuri Ushakov, the Kremlin's foreign policy adviser.

He also met with Maria Llova-Belova, Russia's Presidential Commissioner for Children's Rights, to address the issue of Ukrainian children in Russia, as well as with Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill.

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16 September 2023, 11:51