President Milei will be received in audience on Monday the 12th by an Argentine who has symbolically won the gold medal for peace. It's Pope Francis, who all day makes tireless calls for peace. And he is not optimistic: “We are on the brink of the abyss and a global ceasefire is urgently needed.”
The wars that are proliferating around the world have one of their critical points in the Holy Land, which already involves the Palestinians of Hamas and Israel with tens of thousands of deaths.
An almost autonomous variant has emerged from this conflict. The conflict has produced a burst in the Red Sea, centered in Yemen where the Shiite Muslim Houthi tribes, armed by Iran, have attacked ships that carry 10% of the world's maritime trade and confront the Americans. The US suffered the first three casualties in the conflict when drones attacked one of the bases that Washington has in the entire area.
Response preparations have everyone in suspense because it is expected an American attack against Iran, which would take the crisis to a serious level. The US could also settle for a massive attack on Houthi bases in Yemeni territory. In any case heThe war expands and prolongs.
Gaza in ruins. Photo: Bloomberg
Given the worsening prospects for a war that has now also left the Holy Land to escalate into a regional conflict, exacerbated by the presence of a power like Iran, which denies its participation and threatens retaliation if attacked, The Pope demands to “immediately stop the bombs and missiles”put an end to hostile attitudes.”
Jorge Bergoglio urges to pray for peace, the good that is most scarce in this crisis.
Francis fears a military escalation but cultivates some hope “because rconfidential meetings to reach an agreement.”
“A truce would already be a good result,” he adds.
The Argentine pontiff reflects: “There was the Oslo agreement with the solution” of the recognition of two States, one Jewish and the other Palestinian.
“Until the agreement is implemented, true peace will remain distant”he explained.
The other war: Ukraine
Regarding Ukraine, the Pope recalls the mission of Cardinal Matteo Zuppi, president of the Italian Episcopal Conference. “The Holy See is trying to mediate the exchange of prisoners and the return of Ukrainian civilians. In particular, we are working for the repatriation of Ukrainian children forcibly taken to Russia. Some have already returned to their families.”
Soon, on February 24, It will be two years since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and there is a flowering of pessimism and a feeling of fatigue that is reflected in opinion polls. Within two months there will be general elections in Russia and the reelection for a third term of President Vladimir Putin seems certain.
A Ukrainian soldier shoots during training in the Donetsk region. Photo: Roman Pilipey / AFP
Two years of war have caused, it is estimated, 70 thousand dead and around 100 thousand injured to the invaded Ukraine. Russian losses are believed to be higher.
But in this second year of the conflict, Russia has assimilated Western sanctions and, according to observers, has completely converted to a war economy.
The secretary of the Russian Security Council, in practice the head of all secret services, Nikolay Patrushev, speaking at a university in Saint Petersburg, urged “to prepare for a long war with the West”.
“The Anglo-Saxons are conducting a proxy war against Russia, which will not stop after the end of the hot phase of the conflict in Ukraine,” he said.
In turn, Sergei Narishkin, head of the secret services abroad, accused Western services of wanting to trigger a revolution in Russia, “something they will not achieve.”
The vice-president of the Defense Commission of the Duma (the Russian parliament) said “he has long been in favor of supplying (missile) launch systems to our friends from Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua”.
A banner reads “peace” and another “let's end the massacre”, in Plaza San Pedro. Photo: EFE
The aggressiveness of the Russians naturally had an impact on the headquarters of NATO, the Western military alliance that brings together 27 European countries plus the United States, Canada, Turkey and most European nations.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg faced the eventual re-election of Vladimir Putin in the upcoming Russian general elections. Stoltenberg said that a victory for Putin “It will be a tragedy for Ukraine.”but it would also make the world more insecure for all members of the Atlantic Alliance.”
He also said that kyiv's defeat in the war “will embolden other authoritarian leaders to use force,” among whom he cited those of Iran, North Korea and China.”