Vatican City, May 17, 2021 / 10:30 am
Pope Francis spoke Monday with Iran’s foreign minister and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan amid the ongoing diplomatic efforts to end the violence in the Israel-Gaza conflict.
The pope received Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran’s head diplomat since 2013, for a private audience on May 17 in the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace.
Zarif said that he and the pope “exchanged views” on Palestine, interfaith dialogue, and U.S. sanctions in a post on Twitter.
The Iranian government delegation also met with Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin and Archbishop Paul Gallagher, the Secretary for Relations with States.
Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni confirmed that Pope Francis also spoke on the telephone with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on the morning of May 17.
According to a statement from the Turkish president’s office, Erdogan told Pope Francis “that Palestinians would continue to be subjected to massacre as long as the international community did not punish Israel - which is committing humanitarian crimes - with sanctions.”
The Vatican did not comment on the content of the discussions in either the phone call with Erdogan or the meeting with Zarif.