VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis on Monday called for renewed political will to end the conflict in Syria and lamented a "general indifference" to the plight of refugees around the world.

In his first "State of the World" address to diplomats from 180 countries accredited to the Vatican, Francis also spoke of his concern over violence in Lebanon, Iraq, Egypt and parts of Africa.

"What is presently needed is a renewed political will to end the conflict," the pope said of the civil war in Syria which has killed more than 100,000 people, forced more than 2 million to flee abroad and displaced another 4 million inside the country.

"At the same time, full respect for humanitarian law remains essential. It is unacceptable that unarmed civilians, especially children, become targets," he said.

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