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Pope Francis says a possible visit to Ukraine is ‘on the table.’

ROME — Pope Francis stated on Saturday {that a} potential journey to Kyiv, Ukraine, was “on the desk,” a chance that he floated throughout a papal flight to Malta, the place he started a brief journey emphasizing the plight of migrants.

The journey, initially deliberate for Could 2020 and postponed due to the pandemic, now comes amid one other international catastrophe with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Russia’s bombing of civilians and the displacement of thousands and thousands of refugees and folks inside Ukraine. Earlier than leaving Rome, the pope met with Ukrainian girls and youngsters who had escaped the struggle.

The plight of migrants and refugees has lengthy topped the pontiff’s agenda. On the flight to Malta, Francis responded to a reporter’s query about visiting Kyiv by saying that it was “on the desk.”

Francis, 85, carrying his white robes over black pants, later met with officers and dignitaries of Malta, an island that Roman Catholic scriptures say welcomed the Apostle Paul with “uncommon kindness” when he was shipwrecked there on the best way to Rome.

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