Pope Francis offers prayers for victims of EgyptAir plane crash

Ahram Online , Saturday 21 May 2016

Pope Francis
Pope Francis attends a prayer calling for peace in Syria, in Saint Peter's square at the Vatican September 7, 2013. (Photo: Reuters)

Pope Francis extended his prayers and condolences to those afflicted by the crash of EgyptAir flight MS804 in the Mediterranean on Thursday, the Catholic News Agency reported on Friday.

"Having learned with sadness of the tragic crash of the Egyptian passenger airliner, Pope Francis wishes to assure you of his prayers and solidarity at this difficult time," read a telegram from Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin to Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi.

The Airbus 320 crashed in the first hours of Thursday in the Mediterranean while en route from Paris to Cairo.

All 66 people on board are presumed to have died.

The telegram added that the pope “commends the souls of the deceased of various nationalities to the mercy of the Almighty.”

“Upon the relatives of the passengers and all those involved in the search and rescue efforts, His Holiness invokes the divine blessings of strength and peace,” the telegram said.

Debris from the plane was recovered by Egyptian search-and-rescue teams in the sea north of Alexandria on Friday.
The cause of the plane's demise has yet to be determined.

A number of heads of states have also offered their condolences to Egypt.

Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov expressed his condolences to Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry in a phone call on Saturday, according to Sputnik.

On Friday, Jordanian King Abdullah II and Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari also offered their condolences by phone to El-Sisi and to the Egyptian people, state news agency MENA reported. Both leaders told El-Sisi that their countries stand by Egypt in this tragic incident.

King Mohammed VI of Morocco sent a telegram expressing his condolences to the Egyptian president and people on Friday.

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