Pope Francis has called on the G20 leaders, who head the world's major economic powers, to confront the root causes of terrorism and to prevent attacks against minorities in the Middle East.
The Pope made the appeal in a letter sent to Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who is due to host a meeting in Brisbane for the G20 leaders on 15 and 16 November.
According to the British newspaper the Guardian, in the letter the pope referred to "the terrible backdrop of military conflicts" around the world and called for "an ever broader agreement which can lead, through the United Nations legal system, to a definitive halt to the unjust aggression directed at different religious and ethnic groups, including minorities, in the Middle East".
He added that, "It should also lead to eliminating the root causes of terrorism, which has reached proportions hitherto unimaginable; these include poverty, underdevelopment and exclusion."
The Pope explained that the solution "cannot be a purely military one, but must also focus on those who in one way or another encourage terrorist groups through political support, the illegal oil trade or the provision of arms and technology", before adding that there is also "a need for education" and awareness that religion is not to "be exploited as a means of justifying violence".
He pointed out that military conflicts around the world have left "deep scars" for people and resulted in unbearable humanitarian situations.
"I take this opportunity to ask the G20 member states to be examples of generosity and solidarity in meeting the many needs of the victims of these conflicts, and especially of refugees," he said.