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Vatican: Pope, Anglican head aim for joint South Sudan trip

November 13, 2019 GMT
Pope Francis walks through a group of flag bearers as he arrives for his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
Pope Francis walks through a group of flag bearers as he arrives for his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican says Pope Francis and Anglican leader Justin Welby intend to visit South Sudan together if a national unity transition government can be formed in next three months.

The pontiff and Welby, the archbishop of Canterbury, held talks at the Vatican Wednesday. The Vatican said they agreed “if the political situation in the country permits” creation of a transitional government of unity in the coming 100 days, then it’s “their intention to visit South Sudan together.”

Francis recently appealed to the country’s leaders to salvage a tenuous peace deal and said he hopes to visit the African nation next year.

Last week, South Sudan’s president and opposition leader agreed to postpone formation of a government coalition for 100 days. The country is scarred by five years of deadly fighting.