Pope Francis issued a stark warning against “dangerous” international alliances, including between the U.S. and Russia, on Saturday.
The Pope said that he was afraid of “very dangerous alliances among [foreign] powers that have a distorted vision of the world: America and Russia, China and North Korea, [Russian President Vladimir] Putin and [Syrian President Bashar] Assad in the war in Syria.”
He spoke to the Italian daily newspaper la Repubblica, as reported by Reuters.
The Roman Catholic leader’s comments come days after President Trump and Putin held their first official meeting at the G-20 summit in Hamburg. Trump on Sunday proposed working with Russia on a “cyber security unit” to address cybersecurity.
There is also ongoing controversy over alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Kremlin that may relate to the FBI and congressional probes into 2016 Russian election meddling.
The pope and Trump have voiced their differences with each other in the past.
When asked in 2016 about then-candidate Trump’s proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, the pope appeared to imply Trump was not a Christian.
Trump called the religious leader’s comments “disgraceful.”
However, the two leaders held a quiet face-to-face in May at the Vatican, taking part in a 30-minute meeting.