Syria dominates Putin papal audience

The conflict in Syria was at the heart of discussions between Pope Francis and Russiaís President Vladimir Putin, it has been reported.

Following the November 25 private audience, the Vatican issued a statement in which it detailed various issues which had engaged the leaders, from bilateral relations and human rights. However, special attention was paid to "the grave situation in Syria", with the Pontiff and Mr Putin finding common ground on the urgent need for more humanitarian aid to those displaced and most affected by the fighting, "as well as [initiatives] to promote concrete initiatives for a peaceful solution to the conflict, favouring negotiation and involving the various ethnic and religious groups, recognising their essential role in society".