Pope Francis makes an error when complimenting Angela Merkel, quoting Vladimir Putin incorrectly.
THE POPE made a significant miscalculation today when he ascribed a quote by Vladimir Putin to Angela Merkel, implying that he was criticizing the West’s presence in Afghanistan.
Pope Francis, 84, said a comment attributed to German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the Afghanistan problem had “touched” him. The comment criticizing the “irresponsible” West was read out by the pontiff.
Ms Merkel was also complimented by Francis as a “great figure in world politics.”
“I felt a certain wisdom in light of what this woman stated,” the pope remarked.
However, the comment attributed to Ms Merkel by the Catholic leader was actually from Mr Putin.
During a visit to Moscow by German Chancellor Angela Merkel in August, Russian President Vladimir Putin made the remark.
“It is necessary to put an end to irresponsible politics of imposing one’s own values on others, as well as attempts to build democracy in other countries based on external models without taking into account historical, ethnic, and religious issues, and completely disregarding other people’s traditions,” the pope said.
Francis made the error during an interview with Spanish television station Cope, which was taped last week and shown on Wednesday.
Mr Putin insisted that the West stop interfering in Afghanistan during Ms Merkel’s visit to Moscow last month.
“I must say that, in our development partnership efforts, we did not seek to impose any system on Afghanistan,” said German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
“However, we saw that millions of girls were excited to go to school and that women were welcome to participate.
“Many people in Afghanistan are really dissatisfied with current events.”
During his interview with Cope, Pope Francis also stated that when the West withdrew from Afghanistan, “all scenarios” were not considered.
“I don’t know if there will be any review [of what happened], but there was obviously a lot of deception on the side of the new Afghan authorities,” he said.
“I don’t know if it’s deception or a lot of naiveté,” she says.
Following the declaration that the US and its allies would leave Afghanistan, the Taliban quickly assumed control of the country.
Monika Pallenberg contributed additional reporting.