As fears of further confrontation rise after attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman, Pope Francis, on Sunday urged restraint in the Middle East, Reuters reported.
The Pope expressed worries over the ramifications of the attacks during a visit to a city in central Italy. "I invite everyone to use the instruments of diplomacy to resolve the complex problems of the conflicts in the Middle East," he said.
Washington, already involved in a standoff with Iran over its nuclear program, has held Tehran responsible for the attacks.
"I renew a heartfelt appeal to the international community to make every possible effort to favor dialogue and peace," he said after saying a Mass for several thousand people.
The Pope conducted a one-day visit to Camerino, a university city in Italy's central Marche region which was severely damaged by a string of earthquakes in 2016. During his visit he wore a white fire fighter's helmet as he visited the cathedral there, which was severely damaged one of the quakes.
He prayed before a statue of the Madonna whose face was cut in half by falling debris and also visited several families living in temporary, pre-fabricated housing and entered the city's "red zone," which is off-limits because of the risk of more collapses.