Papal envoy on conflict settlement heads to Kyiv on June 5-6

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The president of the Episcopal Conference, Cardinal Matteo Zuppi, will pay a visit to Kiev on 5-6 June, according to the press service of the Holy See. He will head to Ukraine as Pope Francis’ envoy to resolve the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. Subsequently, Cardinal Matteo Zuppi will also visit Russia, the chair of the World Union of Old Believers Leonid Sevastyanov said. “The main purpose of this visit is to listen in detail to the Ukrainian authorities about possible ways of achieving a just peace and to advocate gestures of humanity that contribute to easing tensions,” the statement said. Leonid Sevastianov specified that after his visit to Kiev, the cardinal will hold talks with the Pope in the Vatican, after which he will visit Moscow. “He will have to return to the Vatican to the Pope for consultation. After that, having analyzed and shaped a position and proposal for the Russian side, he will go to Moscow,” the head of the World Union of Old Believers said. Matteo Zuppi also mediated the negotiations during the 1977-1992 Mozambique’s civil war. The negotiations lasted for 27 months and resulted in signing the Rome Peace Accords between the rebel group Mozambique National Resistance and the ruling political party Mozambique Liberation Front. The Cardinal was awarded the title of honorary citizen of Mozambique for his contribution to the peaceful resolution of the military conflict. On May 18, the Vatican information portal Il Sismografo reported that Moscow and Kyiv agreed to the Pope’s offer on receiving his special envoys, who intend to share the parameters of a possible Vatican ceasefire. The pontiff has repeatedly called on the parties to a cease-fire. On May 13, the Pope and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy discussed the peace formula proposed during a meeting.