"The Secretary-General welcomes the Pope's statement calling for peace based on dialogue and negotiation and call for a day of prayer and fast for Syria," a UN spokesperson said on Thursday.

"Such gestures can make an important and helpful contribution," the spokesperson said.

Pope Francis on Sunday had invited people of all faiths to join him and the world's Catholics in a day of prayer and fasting on September 7 to end the conflict in Syria and advocated for not expanding the issue.

(Agencies)

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