RELIGION

Pope Francis Calls For Ukraine's Ceasefire To Be Respected

ROME, ITALY - FEBRUARY 18:  Pope Francis celebrates the Ash Wednesday service at the Santa Sabina Basilica on February 18, 20
ROME, ITALY - FEBRUARY 18: Pope Francis celebrates the Ash Wednesday service at the Santa Sabina Basilica on February 18, 2015 in Rome, Italy. Ash Wednesday opens the liturgical 40 day period of Lent; encouraging prayer, fasting, penitence and alms giving, leading up to Easter. (Photo by Vatican Pool/Getty Images)

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has called for Ukraine's cease-fire to be respected amid fresh reports by the Ukrainian military that separatist rebels were still firing on government positions and that Russia was sending in more tanks.

Francis delivered the plea for peace Friday during a meeting with Ukrainian bishops visiting Rome.

He said he was praying for peace "and that all interested parties apply the agreements that were reached by common accord and that the principle of international law is respected."

He said in particular he hoped that the cease-fire holds and that all commitments to prevent new violence are abided by.

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