Pope Francis on Sunday expressed sorrow over migrants who have died trying to reach Europe in search of a better life, saying they should not be “instrumentalised.”
“I think of those who died crossing the English Channel, those on the borders of Belarus, many of whom are children, and those who drown in the Mediterranean. There is so much sorrow when thinking about them,” the pope said during his Sunday Angelus prayer.
“I renew my heartfelt appeal to those who can contribute to the resolution of these problems, especially civil and military authorities, so that understanding and dialogue may finally prevail over any kind of instrumentalisation.”
The pontiff spoke after 27 people drowned in the Channel on Wednesday trying to reach Britain.
In Belarus, a migrant crisis has seen thousands of people, mostly Kurds from Iraq, stuck on the border as they try to enter EU member Poland.
The EU has accused Belarus strongman President Alexander Lukashenko of orchestrating the crisis in retaliation for EU sanctions against the ex-Soviet state, charges that Minsk has denied.