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Pope calls for peace in Syria

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The pope spoke to followers from around the world at St Peter's Square on Sunday

Pope Francis has called for peace in Syria in his annual Christmas message.

The pope spoke to followers from around the world at St Peter's Square on Sunday.

He called for immediate assistance for the exhausted population of the city of Aleppo. He said the international community must actively seek a negotiated solution to Syria's 5-year-long civil war and restore stability there.

The pontiff also wished for peace for all who have been injured or lost love ones due to brutal acts of terrorism. He offered prayers to refugees and migrants.

Security around the Vatican was tight. No large vehicles were allowed onto the grounds following an incident last Monday in which a truck rammed into a Christmas market in Germany. Twelve people were killed and about 50 others were wounded in the attack.